February 18, 2019

Asbestos Work At Enfield High Confuses Parents, Who Say They Weren't Notified

ENFIELD – Parents of students at Enfield High School were confused Monday when they heard that portions of the school would be blocked off so construction crews could begin scheduled asbestos removal.

According to Superintendent Jeffrey Schumann, a letter from his office was distributed to parents of Enfield High students and school staff on Dec. 23, outlining construction work related to asbestos removal that would begin on Jan. 2, as part of the ongoing renovation at the high school.

Some parents took to Facebook, asking Mayor Scott Kaupin why they weren’t notified.

Ken Kaufman, who has a daughter at Enfield High School, said he found out about the asbestos work when his daughter’s boyfriend, who is on the wrestling team, told her they moved their practice and that the school was boarded up.

“I haven’t heard anything about the asbestos cleanup to this day,” Kaufman said Wednesday. “We get these robo-calls for the upcoming school play or something to that effect, but something as serious as this, they still haven’t told anyone about it or haven’t had the time to put something together for parents.”

Another Enfield High School parent, Lindsay Caouette, said she wasn’t notified either.

“At this point, there has still been no communication home regarding the work being done with our children in the school, which is concerning to me,” Caouette said.

Three locations, according to the letter, will be blocked off for asbestos abatement: the cafeteria, girls locker room and lower-level kitchen and mechanical spaces.

Parents were further confused when they received communication that the asbestos removal was due to a burst pipe in the “A” wing of the school.

Schumann said that a pipe did leak on the third floor of the “A” wing and caused flooding on the first, second and third floors. When the tiles on those floors began to dry, he said, crews noticed that the tiles — vinyl asbestos tiles — started to lift off the floor. If they cracked, Schumann said, “that could have been a dangerous situation.”

Schumann said the crews that were already at the school to remove the asbestos in the three previously scheduled areas worked on the worked on the areas affected by the flooding instead.

Schumann said a hard copy of the letter was distributed to students on Dec. 23, and teachers and staff were notified.

Due to the ongoing work, an updated letter will go home with students Thursday, Schumann said. The dates of the work have altered due to the burst pipe, Schumann said. The updated letter will also be posted on the school website, he said, and parents were to receive a phone call Wednesday night.

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Asbestos Work At Enfield High Confuses Parents, Who Say They Weren't Notified