Campus Club asbestos deemed not dangerous
The two vacant buildings are currently undergoing routine asbestos removal, University spokeswoman Cass Cliatt ’96 said. She described this process as “a very standard procedure for any renovation” despite the possible concerns stemming from the negative effects of the carcinogenic material.
Asbestos is a heat-resistant, fibrous mineral that was commonly used in building installation before 1989, when the Environmental Protection Agency issued a ban because it was concerned about potential illnesses due to long-term exposure to the material.
The University is complying with state regulations in the process of restoring the two buildings, Cliatt said. “As part of any renovation process,” she explained, “licensed consultants were hired to examine the areas and determine if and where asbestos might be present. In the areas where asbestos is going to be disturbed by renovation, it is removed. Where it is not disturbed, it is left.”
The warning sign on the door of Campus Club was posted almost a year ago, following the start of construction last spring. Campus Club closed in 2005 because of a decline in membership and financial difficulties. It was acquired by the University and will reopen in fall 2008 as a meeting place for students.
The three warning signs now seen on the doors and windows of the former Elm Club were posted in early March, when the renovation process started. The club closed due to unsteady membership and was obtained by the University in 1997. It will reopen in 2009 as the new Carl A. Fields Center.
After abatement and renovation, the consulting companies working with the University Facilities Department will certify that the air is properly cleaned before the buildings are released to the University for public use.
Cliatt said that there is no danger caused by the presence of the hazardous mineral and that abatement is “a standard phase of any renovation process on campus.”
“Abatements took place in about 15 buildings last year,” she added.
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