Asbestos Closes Iowa School

Administrators at a North Iowa school believe the risk of asbestos exposure inside their building is reason enough to keep students out until the concern is addressed and the problem solved.

According to a story on KIMT-TV, North Kossuth Elementary School in the town of Bancroft will close just three weeks before school is scheduled to end, displacing about 145 students for the remainder of the school year. But the administration believes the closure is more than necessary, citing alarming health risks to those who are inside the building each day.

Asbestos test results from recent air quality testing came back late Monday afternoon. They show asbestos levels are ten times higher than what is considered safe in one classroom and levels are an alarming thousand times greater in a second floor hallway. Given those results, North Kossuth administrators saw no option but to close the school.

“We’re not wanting to do this, at all, but we have some people that are pretty concerned about it, and like I said, we didn’t want to take any chances,” said Superintendent Mike Landstrum.

In the meantime, parents are scrambling to accommodate the move and any changes in before and after school plans. But all believe that the school is doing the right thing in protecting the students, faculty, and staff.

“I think it’s a good idea if it’s that dangerous that they go ahead and move their students,” said Sandra Teachout, whose child is a special education student at the school.

The superintendent is hoping to have the kids moved to Swea City Elementary School by Thursday. They plan to rearrange the school there to handle the extra students. There is also a church available in case they need more space, the story noted.

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