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Asbestos delays school start

Some of the students in the Ballston Spa School District will continue their summer vacation for one week more than expected.

After finding asbestos in the roof drain insulation of an elementary school building last week, officials announced that students attending Wood Road Intermediate School and the Milton Terrace Primary School will begin classes Sept. 13, rather than next Wednesday as planned.

Stuart Williams, coordinator of community resources for the district, said the issue of asbestos in the roof drain insulation was brought to the attention of district officials by a contractor who was performing routine maintenance in the same area of the building.

Air samples were then conducted in Milton Terrace South and the Wood Road School, where no asbestos was detected. Officials noted that a low amount of asbestos was detected in samples taken from Milton Terrace North. Since then, additional tests have been done.

The air quality is fine, said Williams. "The space is fine."

He noted that district officials have been working with staff and parents to correlate the new start date.

An informational meeting was held in the high school auditorium on Tuesday to provide more technical details regarding the air-quality testing completed in the building, as well as to discuss the removal of the asbestos.

"The state says that when asbestos is present, it must be removed right away," said Williams Tuesday afternoon. He added that while some sections of the building will be closed down to facilitate the removal of the asbestos from the roof drains, students will be able to return to school as scheduled on Sept. 13.

Williams noted the removal will be done in a manner that will cause the least amount of disruption to the students' studies.

The Ballston Spa High and Middle School and Malta Avenue Intermediate School will open as scheduled on Wednesday.

Questions regarding this issue will be addressed through the district office at 884-7195 ext. 329. ""

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