Slater Junior High will be closed for asbestos abatement

Slater Junior High will be closed for asbestos abatement

PAWTUCKET - School officials will shut down Slater Junior High School on Monday, Sept. 30, and Tuesday, Oct. 1, so workers can address a ceiling containing asbestos, a silicate mineral that can be harmful to human health.

In an email to Slater staff on Monday, Supt. Deborah Cylke said that crews working on demolishing the ceiling in the boys' locker room discovered a concealed ceiling above. The hidden ceiling was tested for asbestos and came back positive.

Air quality tests were conducted outside the locker room, as required by the Environmental Protection Agency, and came back negative, according to Cylke.

Asbestos is dangerous if disturbed, said Cylke, so abatement practices are strictly regulated. She has been advised that it's safe to do the work with people in the building, but is "aware that what is safe and what is perceived as safe may not be the same," said Cylke.

Since the work to take care of asbestos in the locker rooms cannot be done over the weekend, Cylke said she has decided to close school for the first two days of the school week. School will only reopen upon completion of acceptable air quality tests, she said.

School officials have advised the Department of Education that NECAP tests have to start as scheduled on Wednesday, Oct. 2.

"No one dislikes a three-day weekend; however, I wish it was not because of additional ceiling repair issues," wrote Cylke. "A safe school environment and your safety are my priorities."