Review says most of Cwmcarn asbestos school can re-open
1:20pm Wednesday 20th February 2013 in News
A REVIEW into Cwmcarn High School has recommended sealing off part of the school to allow the rest to reopen.
A report issued by independent asbestos surveyor Ensafe says that following a review and an inspection of the school, it was found that the decision by the council to close the school was "understandable" but not supported by any airborne fibre testing sample results.
The report states that it is clear that parts of the school were built with "significant" quantities of asbestos containing products particularly within the school’s A block building.
Previous investigations said that asbestos debris was sitting on non-asbestos ceiling tiles in the block as well as in one area leading to the science block.
The report said that without further testing, it is possible to say that there is a "foreseeable risk" of a ceiling tile breaking and releasing material containing asbestos and airborne asbestos fibres in some areas of the school.
But the report states that if this risk does exist, it is not clear that the risk is so high it warrants the closure of the whole site, as these areas are confined to specific rooms in the A block.
The surveyor has said that a licensed asbestos contractor should immediately seal off the main parts of the two-storey A block from the rest of the school site.
The report also says that when this is done: "the other areas of the school outside the sealed zone should be immediately returned to normal usage with the pre-existing management controls for the known asbestos containing material (ACM) locations maintained".
It continues that the work could be carried out quickly and simply and would allow the school to be returned to normal usage having been subjected to a revised management survey while further surveys and site investigations are conducted in the sealed areas of the school if necessary.
Temporary classrooms would be installed as necessary.
The report concludes by adding that while there is compelling evidence to indicate that it would be "perfectly safe" to re-open the entire school, this precautionary approach is recommended.