McHi gym remains closed for asbestos removal

The gymnasium at McAllen High School is expected to be closed through November while crews remove material containing asbestos from the floor.

Work crews repairing damage from a hail storm in March made the discovery on Friday afternoon.

Lab results show that the flooring material contains 2 percent asbestos.

Students and staff are not being allowed inside the gym.

McAllen ISD offiicials said there is no health risk with materials containing asbestos until the material is disturbed.

School district officials posted air filter test results and bulk sample test results on their website.

Crews are expected to remove the materials but school district officails said the work could until November.

McAllen Independent School District Statement

Posted September 17, 2012

McHi gym closed to all traffic

This is to inform you that the McHi main gym is closed off to students and employees. This follows a set of circumstances that began Friday. The District has a process in place when concerns arise during the course of work and it is following this normal procedure.

Construction work is being done in the McHi gym by a company contracted to address hail damage that occurred in March. On Friday afternoon, staff discovered that the plastic beneath the flooring was disturbed, recognizing a potential problem. As a precaution, a sample of the materials from underneath the flooring was collected and immediately shipped off for testing, requesting immediate results. Results were received on Saturday afternoon and the building was contained. No students or employees were allowed inside. The results indicated that the material contained 2% asbestos. This is isolated to the gym floor, contained under the plastic lining.

As an added precaution, the District then also requested testing of air quality, also asking for expedited results. An expert was immediately flown in on Saturday and he worked through the night. The results were received on Sunday afternoon and they indicate that the air in the entire building, including the gym, is clean. There is no health risk.

It's important that we remind everyone about the nature of asbestos-containing material. It is common knowledge that this material is found in the world around us, primarily in buildings constructed during the 1970's or before. It is also common knowledge that there is no health risk, until the material is disturbed. The District took immediate action to contain the situation and prevent health risk. The area is sealed off and the abatement process will more than likely be completed in a few weeks. In addition, the area will remain closed to traffic until all construction is completed, possibly in November. Staff will continue to monitor this throughout the process.