What to Know
- The Philadelphia school district announced Alexander K. McClure Elementary School on 600 W. Hunting Park Avenue as well as Laura Carnell Elementary School on 1100 Devereaux Avenue will be closed Friday due to asbestos.
- McClure Elementary will also remain closed on Monday.
- Earlier this week, officials announced the Franklin Learning Center on North 15th Street would be closed due to asbestos as well.
Two more Philadelphia schools will be closed due to asbestos.
The school district announced Alexander K. McClure Elementary School on 600 W. Hunting Park Avenue as well as Laura H. Carnell Elementary School on 1100 Devereaux Avenue will be closed Friday. McClure Elementary will also remain closed on Monday.
Officials said asbestos was discovered in pipe insulation inside both buildings. A spokesperson for the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers also wrote that asbestos was found in multiple areas in the building at Carnell Elementary.
“Included in the observed hazards are crushed asbestos tiles in a maintenance closet and a staff bathroom containing severely damaged and unsafe asbestos insulation,” the PFT spokesperson wrote. “In addition, imminent hazards were discovered in at least one classroom, to the point that our environmental scientist was unable to fully complete his evaluation, as he needed a protective respirator to do so.”
Cleaning, abatement work and air quality testing will take place in both buildings before students and staff are allowed back in.
Earlier this week, the Franklin Learning Center on 616 North 15th Street also closed after asbestos was found. The school is expected to remain closed until at least January.
Asbestos has been an ongoing issue for Philadelphia schools this year. Pratt Head Start on North 22nd Street was closed in November while Benjamin Franklin High School and Science Leadership Academy, which share a building on North Broad Street, were closed in September.
School district officials announced last month they were using at least $12 million in operating funds and $500 million in capital funding to alleviate issues like asbestos and lead paint in 141 of its aging buildings. About 86,000 young people will be affected by the "Healthy Schools" environmental plan, the district said.
Asbestos is a fibrous material that was commonly used in commercial products such as installation and fire proofing for decades, according to The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
When inhaled, the microscopic particles from asbestos can cause life-threatening diseases including lung cancer and mesothelioma, the NIOSH says.
The Philadelphia school district stopped using asbestos in any buildings erected after 1978, according to Superintendent William Hite.