UPDATE ON STATUS OF ASBESTOS REMEDIATION AT L.M.M.H.S

This is William Cameron, the Superintendent of Schools in Lenox.  I apologize for calling on a Saturday evening.  Circumstances precluded my calling last evening about the status of asbestos remediation at LMMHS, as I’d originally planned.  Moreover, I do not want to interrupt what for many will be a holiday Sunday with a call.  Nor do I want to leave students and their families waiting for further information until the eve of the next school week.

On Thursday, April 1, Assistant Supt. Melissa Falkowski & I met with the owner of EcoGenesis, the contractor overseeing the work being done at LMMHS.  The result was in part discouraging, but in part also a sign that a return to school is no longer a nebulous goal, but a well-defined expectation.

The discouraging news is that there is scant likelihood that asbestos remediation and the follow-up work needed to restore the facility to full use will be completed before Friday, April 21.  The revised scope of work also factors in the state’s requirement that the drop ceiling brackets be cleaned and ceiling tiles be replaced in all areas of the building directly affected by the remediation.

EcoGenesis’s revised plan entails our custodial employees following the remediation and tiling contractors room by room, returning furniture and equipment, which had to be cleaned and removed from the work areas, to their appropriate classroom locations.  In light of all this, our current planning continues to assume resumption of full-day, in-person instruction at LMMHS during the week of April 26, in accordance with state expectations.

We have made and will continue to make a concerted effort to find a subcontractor who, working with our asbestos remediation contractor, could accelerate the pace of the work.  Doing so could complete all the work needed sooner than I have just described.  To date other contractors licensed to work in Massachusetts who do the same work have informed us that they are unavailable to help in that period.  We will continue to look.

My best wishes to those who are celebrating religious holidays at this time.  My best wishes, as well, and also my thanks for their understanding and patience, to all who are adversely affected by the pace of completing this necessary work.  Even knowing in advance  how long this would take would not have delayed the start of the work.  The School Committee and I view what is being done as essential to ensuring the safety of all who work and learn at LMMHS.  But knowing at the outset what we now know would at least have provided everyone with a more realistic schedule for completion.

You will receive this message in email form, as well.  This message will also be posted on our schools’ and district website.