Will asbestos scare mean a new elementary school for Libby?
by KLCB 1230 AM Libby News Radio
March 4, 2008
Will Libby get a new elementary school because of a minor vermiculite incident a week ago?
The question has been raised and a committee is being formed to look at the plan.
The idea is not a new one. The schools have been talking about replacing Asa Wood off and on for sometime, but the incident a week ago has brought it back to the forefront of the school administration.
A small hole was punched in an exterior wall of the building by heavy equipment removing snow, and the hole allowed vermiculite insulation in the concrete block wall to drain out onto the ground where children found it. Parents immediately became concerned for the safety of their children in the building for asbestos exposure. There is very little doubt that the vermiculite came from the asbestos contaminated W.R. Grace mine. The EPA has chosen to leave vermiculite insulation in walls of buildings all over town, maintaining that it is encapsulated, and if left alone, untouched, it is contained and safe.
But a new building is a major expense. Thirty years ago the Libby schools were actively operating seven buildings. Today that is down to three schools and an admin building.
Would the voters in an economically declining town pass a construction levy for a new elementary school? Troy almost did not pass the levy for the construction of a new gymnasium.
And there is some thinking in the schools that the EPA should help financially to construct a new elementary school in Libby.
Story by KLCB 1230 AM Libby News Radio, www.todaysbestcountryonline.com