MOOERS — School here was set to resume today, as “extensive” air testing for asbestos has proved negative, both inside Mooers Elementary and on the grounds.
And Wednesday, Town of Mooers officials hope, the debris pile that includes that cancer-causing substance will be made secure by a special tarp that can’t be punctured.
“Best-case scenario,” Town of Mooers Code Enforcement Officer/Public Safety Officer Jess Dixon said Monday, “we have to go through the red tape first.”
Friday afternoon, Northeastern Clinton Central School Interim Superintendent A. Paul Scott officially closed the school to any activity pending evaluation of possible health risks due to friable asbestos found in the rubble of a collapsed building a short distance away.
Dixon had notified the district that samples taken by the State Department of Labor had tested positive for the substance and recommended that recess for the students take place inside and that buses moved to another location.
Strong winds were blowing toward the school from the rubble pile on the corner of Route 11 and Maple Street, where the former E.F. Drown Funeral Home had collapsed in January.
Classes were canceled for Monday, that news announced by robo-calls throughout the district and a media release.
Asbestos, a group of minerals often used in construction materials in older buildings, has proven to have cancer-causing properties when released to the air.
The decision to resume normal operations at the school, Scott said in Monday’s statement, followed “the results of the extensive interior air testing and exterior air testing indicating no asbestos detected.
“Those tests were commissioned promptly by the School District and performed by Atlantic Laboratories at Mooers Elementary School.”
As well, he said, district officials conferred on Monday morning with agencies that gave input on how to handle the situation: the State Department of Labor Division of Safety & Health, State Education Department Office of Facilities Planning and the Champlain Valley Education Services Office of Health, Safety and Risk Management.