Administrators with Libby Public Schools undertook an unexpected asbestos mitigation project after workers accidentally released the toxic mineral while removing a boiler from the Plummer Preschool Center last month.
Superintendent Ron Goodman said inspectors found the asbestos-tainted vermiculite while abating chimney stacks in the boiler room. The district hired Flathead County-based Kirby Environmental to clean up the spill and determine where the asbestos had spread.
“The first thing that we did is we tested for release of asbestos into the actual building,” Goodman told school board members July 12. “The really positive thing is that … there wasn’t any exposure inside the building.”
Since workers used a door that led directly outdoors from the boiler room, no other rooms inside the school were contaminated. Contractors found fibers on a trailer used to transport the boiler.
No children or employees were in the building when workers removed the boiler, Goodman said. The superintendent expected Kirby Environmental to finish cleaning up the boiler room by July 16.
An independent contractor out of Missoula will take air samples to ensure the room is clean.
Within a week or two, Goodman expected the boiler to be back in place. School officials plan to use Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief…