Signage posted at the entrance of Goddard High warn of an asbestos hazard at the school as workers inside the building remove the substance. (Mark Wilson Photo)
Goddard High School is undergoing asbestos abatement and remediation.
The process started after school closed its doors and will continue for another two weeks.
Roswell Independent School District Superintendent Tom Burris said, “It can only do this during the summer. We cannot start until after the end of the school year.”
The abatement is part of RISD’s Asbestos Management Plan. “This is the third year of a three-year plan. We’ve completed abatement to almost all the schools in the district,” he said.
Burris explained, “We have old buildings. Almost all schools built before 1975 have asbestos in them. That’s just the way they built them back then.”
He also noted that the newer schools in the district, such as Sunset Elementary and Missouri Avenue Elementary, contain no asbestos.
The asbestos is found in the tiles on floor and ceiling, and as long as the tiles remain undamaged, the asbestos presents no hazard. Once the process is started and the tiles disturbed, the released particles could be inhaled, becoming a health risk.
To prevent contamination, Keers Remediation of Albuquerque covered the roof. “That’s what they do to contain the asbestos, cover everything in plastic to prevent it from being released into the environment,” Burris said.
Work on the first floor already has been completed. The company has now started on the second floor where the 9-inch by 9 inch tiles will be replaced by new 12-inch by 12-tiles in the hallway and some of the classrooms. “We have no asbestos in the gym,” he said.
Immediately after the work is finished, the air will be tested, and the schools will be checked by an accredited inspector periodically with air samples taken to ensure air quality.