Charter students safe: District

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Friday, April 27, 2012
— Janesville School District officials are assuring parents of students who attend two charter schools that their children are safe after a pipe fell through the ceiling and asbestos was removed upstairs.

The district leases space for its TAGOS Leadership Academy and TATE—Truancy Abatement Program—in Arrow Park on North Parker Drive owned by Hendricks Commercial Properties. Lease is about $132,000 a year.

The classrooms are on the first floor, and the company is renovating the second.

On March 22, the district became aware that asbestos was being removed upstairs. On April 24, a piece of electrical conduit fell through the ceiling. Nobody was hurt.

“The safety of students and staff is a primary concern of the School District of Janesville,” Superintendent Karen Schulte said. “We are taking the recent events at TAGOS Leadership Academy and TATE … very seriously.”

The district consulted with experts to look over the building and recommend and implement solutions, according to a news release from the school district.

Construction contractors agreed that demolition work would not be done when students and staff are present.

In addition, Dave Leeder, the district’s buildings and grounds manager, is meeting weekly with representatives from Hendricks and the contractors to discuss ongoing work and coordinate activities to ensure safety, according to the news release.

After reports of the asbestos removal, Leeder contacted the district’s environmental consultant to review the procedures being used on the second floor.

The consultant confirmed that the contractor was following federal regulations, according to the release. Procedures include erecting barriers and creating a negative pressure area. The consultant verified that no air in the area of the removal was being pushed to the classrooms below.

Parents of students were notified of the issue by the district’s automated telephone messaging system.

On April 24, a piece of steel electrical conduit fell through the ceiling at TAGOS Leadership Academy.

Leeder worked with Hendricks and the contractors and concluded that no additional pipe has the potential to put students or staff at risk. Contractors responsible for the demolition work agreed to search the building to further ensure the safety of staff and students, according to the release.

Parents of TAGOS students were again notified of the issue by the district’s automated telephone messaging system.

Last updated: 8:03 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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