January 18, 2019

3 months later, O.C. school closed by asbestos scare to reopen

Students displaced from a Huntington Beach grade school will begin returning to campus on Tuesday, more than three months after three schools were closed because of an asbestos scare.

Many of the students who attended the three campuses have been bused to schools elsewhere in Orange County at a cost of $50,000 a week while school officials struggled to deal with the asbestos concerns.

In all, the closures displaced more than 1,600 students.

On Tuesday, students in grades 3 through 5 will return to Oak View Elementary and be reunited with classmates in portable buildings.

Two other campuses, Lake View and Hope View elementary, remained closed.

Since Oak View was closed in October, more than 600 Oak View students, including kindergartners, have been attending classes at Village View Elementary, Oak View Preschool, Pleasant View School – all in the Ocean View district – and Walter Knott Elementary in Buena Park.

The district is working on a timeline for asbestos cleanup at Oak View. The potentially hazardous mineral fiber was discovered at some schools during an 11-campus modernization project that began in July.

When the schools were built decades ago, asbestos was used as fireproofing on metal beams above the ceilings. Over time, asbestos dust began to fall from the beams and settle on classroom ceiling tiles, district records show.

Rising costs caused the district board of trustees to vote last month to delay asbestos removal and modernization construction at Oak View.

According to district documents, air samples taken at Oak View in October did not contain asbestos levels above standards set in the federal Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act, which regulates how much asbestos can be present in public buildings like schools.

At a recent board meeting, several parents of Oak View students said they were worried about their children falling behind academically while attending temporary schools.

The children lack access to computers at Knott Elementary and can’t practice for automated Common Core tests like their peers can, parents said.

Oak View serves a large number of English as a Second Language students and low-income families, many of whom receive free or reduced-price meals at school, according to California Department of Education data. The relocations have divided siblings and disrupted families, some of whom count on social and family services available at Oak View, teachers told the school board last month.

Special-education teacher Rhonda King said one of her second-graders was accustomed to attending Oak View with his sister, a third-grader. Now he is at Village View in Huntington Beach while his sister is bused to Buena Park.

“He tells me he misses his sister,” King said. “That’s not just one family, it’s a lot of families.”


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Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times

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3 months later, O.C. school closed by asbestos scare to reopen

Prosecutor in dust-up over asbestos threat

CROWN POINT | Like the sands of time, dust regularly falls on offices of the Lake County prosecutor, who hopes it isn’t laced with asbestos.

“A number of our employees have been complaining about sinus problems and are very concerned,” Prosecutor Bernard Carter said Monday.

Forty-year-old asbestos fireproofing hangs above the heads of more than 40 of his deputy prosecutors and clerical support staff along with countless visitors.

He notes with irony the asbestos has been removed in the county jail, but not where his staff works.

County Commissioner Gerry Scheub, D-Crown Point, said, “Unfortunately, there still is asbestos in the buildings, but as long as its not disturbed, it’s not hurting anybody.” Commissioners oversee county building maintenance.

Nevertheless, Carter said he and his employees presented the Board of Commissioners with a petition to address the problem when they were dramatically reminded of it two months ago following a water line that burst in their office, spraying their law library and evidence closet with sewage.

“The workmen who came in were all taped and dressed up like they were going into space. Our employees were walking around unprotected and wondering what they were being exposed to,” Carter said.

Scheub said, “Anytime anybody complains about air quality, we take that very seriously.” He said commissioners ordered Rober Rehder, superintendent of county government buildings, to hire a firm to test the air quality. “He told commissioners they found nothing detrimental to anybody’s health.”

Barb McConnell, one of Carter’s chief deputies, said, “Testing hasn’t been done in this office for years. We have had to tape plastic up in our victim-witness office so the stuff won’t fall on their desks. When there is movement upstairs, you can’t tell me that doesn’t disturb it.”

It’s no better for much of the floor above Carter’s office. Public Defender David Schneider said asbestos is above the heads of his staff. Senior Lake Criminal Court Judge Salvador Vasquez said three of the four original courtrooms there still have it. “So far, no one has gotten sick. We haven’t held a discussion about it, because out of sight, out of mind.”

Asbestos is a mineral fiber with heat-insulating and fire-resistance properties that was commercially sprayed into buildings until the mid 1970s, when it was linked to lung cancer in persons who inhaled large amounts.

It was present in all three original buildings of the county government center when they opened four decades ago. A federal court mandate prompted county officials to remove it from the jail in the late 1980s.

The state held the county in violation of occupational safety laws in 1990 after material was found on office floors in the courts building. Commissioners posted warnings that year forbidding employees from removing any drop-ceiling tiles except in a dire emergency.

Commissioners spent $12 million between 1993 and 2006 removing asbestos from public and office areas, but the program was halted short of the mark because of cost overruns that occurred when money was diverted to new carpeting, lighting fixtures and other non-asbestos spending.

There are no plans to address asbestos with any of the $12 million the county has just borrowed to address county government building maintenance, Commissioner Mike Repay, D-Hammond, said Monday, but he said commissioners need a professional assessment of where asbestos remains, so it can be dealt with in future rehabilitation projects.

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Prosecutor in dust-up over asbestos threat

Compensation claims for asbestos in Lancashire hit £687k

Lancashire County Council has paid out almost £700,000 to people with conditions linked to asbestos in the past four years.

County Hall shelled out £672,094 in compensation and costs to victims in the past five years – and the authority has six ongoing claims. besides

Preston City Council also paid out £14,246.59, statistics revealed to the Evening Post.

Figures obtained under Freedom of Information requests reveal 17 people have contacted Lancashire County Council regarding asbestos claims since 2010.

Of those there were three pay outs, five cases where there was no payout and six ongoing claims – with one of those receiving a £50,000 interim damages payment.

The compensation claims came from victims who breathed in asbestos fibres.

It can cause mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer, which attacks the lining of organs and is fatal.

All but one of the claimants were employed by the county council and all the claims related to time frames from the 1950s and onwards.

Twelve of the cases related to mesothelioma, one to asbestos -related cancer, one to asbestosis and one is listed as industrial disease.

Their jobs at the council included roadsman, plasterer, cook, heating engineer, a factory worker and teachers.

Meanwhile of the two cases Preston Council dealt with they only paid out compensation in one of them.

The authority was unable to provide information on where in the council the two claimants had worked.

The claimants had mesothelioma and asbestosis.

Campaigners believe payments are likely to soar over the coming decade as more people fall ill and die after being exposed to the material, often decades ago.

Geraldine Coombs, a partner and expert asbestos-related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Asbestos exposure is often regarded as something that only impacts those working within heavy industry, but the presence of the material in so many public buildings such as schools and hospitals, means that more and more people who are not working in traditional construction trades are being affected through no fault of their own.

“We have repeatedly called for a dedicated programme to identify any public buildings around the UK that contain asbestos and continue to pose a danger to those working in them, as well as calling for a schedule to systematically remove asbestos from these premises on a priority basis depending on the state of disrepair in each situation.

Given the vulnerability of children to the potential dangers of asbestos – we would suggest schools are given the highest priority in any action that may be taken.”

Bev Cullen, assistant county solicitor for Lancashire County Council, said: “Each claim is considered on its own facts and will be investigated in accordance with the county council’s insurance arrangements.

“Claims payments are made either from the council’s own reserves set aside for this purpose, our insurers, or a combination of the two. It depends on the date of the exposure, and the insurance arrangements that the county council had in place at the time.

“Claims will be investigated when they’re received. Generally the exposure date goes back many decades, so it is difficult to assess future numbers.”

No-one from Preston Council was available for comment. South Ribble, Chorley, West Lancashire, Fylde and Lancaster councils said they had received no claims for compensation.

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Compensation claims for asbestos in Lancashire hit £687k

Asbestos scare puts tiny O.C. school district on financial brink

A small Orange County school district that was forced for close campuses and bus students elsewhere in the wake of an asbestos scare is now reeling under a multimillion-dollar budget shortfall.

“You went from being a stable district to a district that’s facing insolvency,” Wendy Benkert, assistant superintendent for business services at the Orange County Department of Education, told trustees for Ocean View School District.

Benkert said the district has run through $2.9 million of $4.3 million in general fund emergency reserves and faces an additional $9.2 million in costs related to asbestos removal and a modernization project at 11 schools.

Should the Huntington Beach school district fail to close its $7.8-million shortfall, it might need emergency funding or could be taken over by the state, Benkert warned.

“But I believe with prudent decisions you can turn this around,” she said.

Asbestos was detected in some classrooms during the modernization project that began in July. The cleanup has closed three schools and left many parents furious as they have watched their children — more than 1,600 in all — be temporarily bused to classes at eight schools in four districts.

As the crisis has unfolded, district officials have remained in close contact with the Orange County Department of Education, which has oversight responsibility.

Benkert proposed several options for school board members, such as scaling down or delaying some construction work or selling an unused school site. Such a sale, however, probably wouldn’t happen quickly enough to shore up the district’s deficit, she said. Also, legal requirements would force the district to offer any open space on an unused site to the city first for a below-market rate.

Nicole Knight Shine writes for Times Community News.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times

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Asbestos scare puts tiny O.C. school district on financial brink

Tubman asbestos abatement discussed at council

Demolition continues at the city of Chattanooga's former Harriet Tubman housing complex in East Chattanooga on Monday, November 17, 2014.

Demolition continues at the city of Chattanooga’s former Harriet Tubman housing complex in East Chattanooga on Monday, November 17, 2014.

Photo by

Dan Henry


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What: Information meeting about asbestos abatement at Harriet Tubman demolition site

When: 3:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: City Council committee meeting room

Chattanooga leaders don’t think there’s reason to worry about asbestos in the rubble of the Harriet Tubman development.

Some East Chattanooga residents hired to help demolish the former public housing site aren’t so sure.

Tim Newson, one of 14 East Chattanooga residents hired for the Harriet Tubman demolition, said that while he was on the job, only people actually removing asbestos wore safety equipment. Laborers working next to them didn’t even have face masks, Newson said.

Newson quit the $18.75-an-hour job because of his concerns. He and other East Chattanooga representatives concerned about potential airborne asbestos from the demolition are planning to attend a meeting of the City Council’s Economic and Community Development Committee meeting at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Councilman Moses Freeman, who represents the East Chattanooga area, said on-site engineers will give a report to the council addressing safety concerns raised by residents living near the area. Professionals will share their procedures for asbestos abatement.

Last week, Assistant City Engineer Dennis Malone said that the city contracted with environmental consulting firm S&ME, an East Coast firm with an office in Chattanooga, to study the Tubman buildings, make recommendations and draw up plans about abatement, and to approve the demolition plan by contractor Environmental Abatement.

Since then, S&ME has monitored the work and found no cause for concern about asbestos, Malone said.

Freeman said the meeting will focus on gathering information, not hearing complaints.

“We’re hearing a report based on a petition signed by a certain number of individuals who expressed concerns,” he said. “Getting information out about the process ought to allay the concerns, because we don’t think there is an asbestos problem.”

Robert Schreane, Hamilton County Coalition housing manager, said he got so many complaints from area residents worried about contaminants in the air that he emailed the Environmental Protection Agency asking for an investigation.

He sent the letter Monday, he said, not knowing that 37 East Chattanooga residents had submitted a petition asking the City Council to order independent environmental testing for airborne asbestos.

Schreane said the coalition makes no accusations of contamination, but it at least wants the EPA to check.

Contact staff writer Yolanda Putman at yputman@timesfreepress.com or 757-6431.

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Tubman asbestos abatement discussed at council

Asbestos tests clear other schools in Ocean View district

Asbestos testing has revealed that most of the campuses in a beleaguered Orange County school district pose no threat to students and will remain open.

Three elementary schools in the Huntington Beach school district, however, will remain closed for as long as two months while asbestos is removed from classrooms.

The campuses were closed early this month when asbestos was detected in classrooms during a modernization project. The closures left parents furious and forced more than 1,600 students to be bused to classrooms in eight different school districts across Orange County.

But the coastal Ocean View School District had a shot of good news when recent tests showed that all but three campuses were deemed not to have an unsafe level of asbestos in classrooms.

Tests showed that most of the schools had an “insignificant” level of asbestos in the air and that, even in classrooms where trace levels of asbestos were found, measurements were far below federal standards for a hazard and would not pose a risk to staff or students.

Still, all the rooms were deep-cleaned Monday night, officials said.

“We can say with absolute certainty that every child attending our schools is studying in the cleanest and safest classroom possible,” Supt. Gustavo Balderas said.

Asbestos is a mineral that was widely used as fireproofing in building projects until the 1970s. Though coming into contact with asbestos that hasn’t been disturbed isn’t harmful, it can become a hazard when the dust becomes airborne. Inhaling high levels of asbestos over a long period can cause cancer and other lung diseases, experts say.

When Hope View, Oak View and Lake View — the trio of elementary schools that remain closed — were built decades ago, asbestos was used as fireproofing on metal beams above the ceilings. Over time, asbestos dust began to fall from the beams and settle on classroom ceiling tiles, district records show.

The district brought in a panel of health experts last week to explain to parents the risks of asbestos exposure.

Dr. William Hughson said it’s unlikely that children will become sick as a result of asbestos exposure at school.

The Ocean View School District has given 195 applications to families interested in transferring their children to other districts since news of the potential asbestos exposure broke in September, officials said.

Officials in the Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach school districts said they have received requests for transfers.

However, Ocean View has not received confirmation that all 195 students will transfer, district spokesman Tom DeLapp said.

“I think that many people are reserving judgment until they see how we sort this out over the next few days,” DeLapp said.


Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times

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Asbestos tests clear other schools in Ocean View district

Asbestos present in campus buildings

Asbestos present in campus buildings


According to the UNC Department of Housing and Residential Education, since 2009 seven residence halls have been identified as having surfacing materials containing asbestos.

Rick Bradley, associate director of housing and residential education, said that students living on campus should not worry about becoming ill from the asbestos found in their dorms.

“The asbestos is contained and does not pose a health risk,” Bradley said.

In order to ensure the safety of students living in dorms with asbestos, Bradley suggested a few precautions, such as refraining from scraping or attaching items to the walls, ceiling or pipes.

He also said to keep lofted beds at least 3 feet from the ceiling, which is residence hall policy.

“The key is to contain the asbestos and to notify individuals as to the precautions that should be taken,” Bradley said.

Junior Kristin Tajlili has lived in a residence hall each year she’s been at UNC. Two of the dorms she has lived in are on the list of buildings tracked for asbestos.

She said she had not heard about the issue of asbestos on campus until the recent construction in the quad, but she is not concerned about it.

Tajlili said her only complaint is that the University did not tell her before she chose her dorm.

“I think it would have been better to let everyone know (about the presence of asbestos) when applying for housing, because we are paying a lot of money to live on campus,” Tajlili said.

Freshman Riley Foster lives in Hinton James and said knowledge of the asbestos may have factored into her choice of dorm, but ultimately, she is not worried.

“I trust Carolina enough to believe they would not let me live somewhere I was really at risk,” Foster said.

Foster also said she thinks the construction in the quad is a positive sign of the investment the University is making to ensure the safety of its students.

Whether asbestos is in the quad or a residence hall, Foster said she is sure the issues with the material will be addressed.

“If there is a health risk, they’ll make the investment to fix it,” Foster said.


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Asbestos present in campus buildings

Natural asbestos problem ‘falls in the cracks’ in Skagit County

Originally published July 13, 2014 at 7:10 PM | Page modified July 13, 2014 at 11:08 PM

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) investigators prompted by a resident’s concern in late 2012 tested rocks near a housing development in Burlington, Skagit County, and found evidence of naturally occurring asbestos.

Prolonged exposure to the substance found inside the rocks has been shown to cause lung cancer, and investigators recommended in a draft report that signs be posted “alerting people to the dangers of asbestos exposure.”

Residents, however, were never formally notified of the discovery by federal, state or local officials — a case that experts and others say highlights the challenges authorities face when dealing with naturally occurring hazards.

Jean Melious, an environmental and land-use lawyer who teaches environmental studies at Western Washington University, said natural asbestos is vexing for government agencies, partly because it’s not a disaster that calls for immediate action.

“It’s a lot easier for government to work when there’s a big hue and cry,” she said.

Andy Smith, an on-scene coordinator with the EPA, said no government agency has total authority over natural asbestos. “This kind of problem falls in the cracks,” he said.

Natural asbestos is often found in certain types of rocks and near fault zones. It can be released into the air from the rocks when they are broken or crushed, as often occurs during mining or development.

The Washington Department of Natural Resources says naturally occurring asbestos has been found in areas in the northern part of the state, and experts say it occurs throughout the United States.

Keith Welch, a resident of the Burlington Hill housing development who alerted federal authorities, said he’s frustrated the authorities haven’t been more proactive in telling people about the presence of asbestos and doing more comprehensive studies.

“It’s one thing to be cautious,” Welch said. “Now that it’s been identified, somebody needs to do something about it.”

The Burlington Hill case has helped agencies discuss best practices for permitting and public awareness, said Katie Skipper of the Northwest Clean Air Agency, which is responsible for enforcing air-pollution regulations in Skagit, Whatcom and Island counties.

In June, Skagit County posted information about naturally occurring asbestos in the environmental health section of its website. It mentions the asbestos on Burlington Hill in one sentence, and provides links to other asbestos-related information.

Polly Dubbel, a Skagit County environmental health specialist, said residents weren’t notified and that most already likely knew of the presence of asbestos because of a website Welch created to publicize a lawsuit he filed against the city of Burlington.

Welch, a developer who also has built homes on Burlington Hill, said he contacted the EPA after learning there was an old asbestos quarry in the area. Welch had sued Burlington in 2008 in a dispute over a road-rebuilding project on Burlington Hill.

He amended his lawsuit last year after the September 2012 EPA investigation, saying the roadwork potentially exposed dozens of people who live in the area to the asbestos.

In its March 2013 final report, the EPA said it found actinolite asbestos along a road cut on the northeastern side of Burlington Hill. No asbestos was found at three other locations sampled.

Because of the health risks associated with asbestos, the report said people should limit their exposure to the asbestos and that a more thorough study would need to be done to determine how much asbestos might be at the site.

In a draft of the final report, obtained by The Associated Press via a public-disclosure request, EPA investigators recommended Skagit County post warning signs.

Smith, one of the EPA staffers who went to Burlington Hill, said the EPA didn’t include the recommendation on the warning signs in the final report because that went beyond the agency’s mandate.

“Our place is really to find out if there was any big, screaming source for us to clean up. And there wasn’t,” Smith said.

He added, “Another complicating part is we have no statutory authority to clean up naturally occurring asbestos.”

EPA investigators collected samples for testing by breaking off bits of exposed rock with a hammer.

In their final report, the investigators said that, given the limited nature of the study at Burlington Hill, they couldn’t say what risks people exposed to the asbestos could face.

For that, air samples that measure asbestos concentrations that people could breathe would be needed. But the investigators said, “EPA would caution people to refrain from disturbing the material” where the asbestos was found.

Joanne Snarski from the state Department of Health said state and local authorities can help developers and landowners be aware of areas where things like naturally occurring asbestos and other natural hazards can occur and work to mitigate hazards.

“There’s a variety of naturally occurring issues that people live with on a regular basis,” she said, adding there’s a balancing act between public awareness and possibly overstating potential risks.

Both Smith and Snarski said issuing specific directives to landowners can be difficult. “A lot of people are pretty uncomfortable with people telling you all the things you can and cannot do on their property,” Snarski said.

Originally posted here: 

Natural asbestos problem ‘falls in the cracks’ in Skagit County

School assistant appeals to former colleagues in asbestos investigation

School assistant appeals to former colleagues in asbestos investigation

The Northern Echo: INFORMATION APPEAL: Catherine Robson


A FORMER school assistant diagnosed with a terminal asbestos-related cancer is appealing to former colleagues to help an investigation into her exposure.

Catherine Robson, 59, from Sacriston, County Durham, was diagnosed last Christmas with mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs caused by asbestos exposure.

She has now instructed lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate.

Mrs Robson worked at Bullion Lane Primary School, Chester-le-Street, from September 1990 to July 1991 and again from November 1994 to March 2008.

Mrs Robson, then known as Catherine Foster, recalls parts of the school were later found to have asbestos in it.

She also believes she may have been exposed to asbestos while helping with her father’s dusty work overalls.

Her dad, Arthur Carter, worked for Elliott Bros Limited at ICI Billingham between October 1965 and February 1966 and for Steel and Co Limited from March 1966 to May 1975. Sadly, he died from lung cancer in 2001.

She said: “I used to do everything I could to help my mum and used to help wash my dad’s boiler suits from work which were always covered in dust which I now believe may have been asbestos dust.

“The course of my illness has been horrendous. Before, I was such an active person and enjoyed walking and going to the gym but I’m now in pain and undergoing chemotherapy.

“It’s really hard for my husband, Harry, and I as we have only been married for five-and-a-half years and I thought we would have a long future together.”

Anyone with information should call Isobel Lovett or Emma Tordoff at Irwin Mitchell on 0191 279 0104.

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School assistant appeals to former colleagues in asbestos investigation

Aviation Authority looks to recover losses from asbestos removal

By Liz Segrist
Published May 15, 2014

The Charleston County Aviation Authority’s board is looking to recover losses from nearly $670,000 in asbestos remediation at the Charleston International Airport.

Construction crews discovered the asbestos earlier this year during a renovation project. The waterproofing substance that contained the cancer-causing materials was sandwiched between several brick walls at the front of the airport, said Matt McCoy of Michael Baker Inc. during the authority’s board meeting Thursday.

Construction and asbestos abatement continue as part of the Charleston International Airport’s renovation project. (Photo/Liz Segrist)Construction and asbestos abatement continue as part of Charleston International Airport’s renovation project. (Photo/Liz Segrist)

Previous coverage

Contractors were unaware of it until the walls were demolished as part of the

Terminal Redevelopment Improvement Program

. The aviation authority voted Thursday to approve the $670,000 needed to remove the asbestos from the airport.

The board plans to investigate what company or contractor was responsible for using the asbestos-containing material when the terminal was built in 1982, as well as whether the material that was used was legal at the time.

“The asbestos problem bothers me a lot because it was not expected on our construction project, and it should not have been used in 1982,” Airports Director Paul Campbell said.

Arnold Goodstein, the authority’s legal counsel, said there’s a good chance the authority could get some financial reimbursements if they discover who is responsible for using the materials during construction more than three decades ago.

“Once we dig into it and figure out who provided it and who purchased it, we will go from there,” Goodstein said.

Asbestos abatement will delay project’s completion by one month to September 2015.

The board has allocated roughly $1.85 million of its $11.5 million contingency funds thus far for change orders needed for unexpected changes during the construction process.

2015 fiscal year budget

The authority’s total revenue for fiscal year 2015 is projected to be roughly $38.5 million, up 8% from fiscal year 2014. The authority approved its budget for fiscal year 2015, beginning July 1, during the meeting.

The operating revenue for fiscal year 2015 is projected to increase to roughly $33 million, up 8.1% from the year prior. Revenue from parking fees and rental cars continue to be the largest revenue producers for the authority, Finance Director Judi Olmstead said.

Projected revenue for parking for next year is $10.5 million, up 13.9%. Fuel sales are expected to increase by 23% to roughly $1.3 million in projected revenue.

The authority expects its operating expenses to increase by 5.4% from personnel costs, benefits, administrative services, utilities, contractual services and insurance, professional and legal fees.

The budget includes plans for three staff additions, including a staff attorney that would report to the airports director, a legal assistant and a maintenance planner. There will be five title changes in the engineering department, but they will not impact the budget.

The aviation authority’s budget projections are based, in part, on the $200 million renovation project underway at the airport and an increase in both passengers and flights at the airport.

About 622,000 passengers have arrived or departed from the airport during the first quarter of 2014, up 14.5% from the same time in 2013. For fiscal year 2015, the authority forecasts 2.9 million passengers will pass through the airport.

The airport currently has 18 daily non-stop destinations. The American Airlines and U.S. Airways merger is creating some opportunity at the local airport as the airline shifts around flights.

JetBlue Airways will add two nonstop flights from the Charleston airport to the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport outside Washington, D.C., starting June 19. Southwest is considering the addition of nonstop service to the Charleston airport as well if it acquires two additional gates at Dallas Love Field.

Renovations update

The authority expects that the renovations will have passengers spending more money at the new concessions and shops, as well as renting more cars through the new rental car pavilion.

“About a year from now, you will see a significant change at the airport. … We will be about 80% complete with the project by June,” Campbell said.

The renovation project will upgrade the airport’s baggage claim areas, security checkpoints and terminals, as well as a new rental car center.

The second floor of the Central Energy Plant is now finished. Construction continues at Concourse B for the new B4 gate.

The third new baggage carousel recently opened. The next phase for the baggage claim area will be to raise the ceiling.

Construction has caused some issues for airlines’ baggage operations and the airport looks to finish construction as quickly as possible, said Michael Pena, chairman of the Terminal Redevelopment Improvement Program committee.

Reach staff writer Liz Segrist at 843-849-3119 or @lizsegrist on Twitter.

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Aviation Authority looks to recover losses from asbestos removal