August 23, 2019
Dear CCSD Families
The Chatham Central School District is conducting an abatement project at the Mary E. Dardess Elementary School to address loose vermiculite discovered this summer in the fourth and fifth grade wing. The District hired an environmental contractor to conduct an inspection that uncovered areas above the ceiling where small amounts of vermiculite particles had escaped through perforations in the wall.
Testing of the vermiculite and air quality sampling of the areas detected no asbestos, which is good news. However, because vermiculite can contain asbestos, NYS Department of Health guidelines require it to be treated as an asbestos-containing material and all rules and regulations concerning asbestos apply. Vermiculite was commonly used as insulation in older buildings.
Therefore, our District has hired a professional asbestos abatement contractor to remediate the issue by thoroughly cleaning the affected areas and sealing all perforations in the walls where vermiculite could potentially escape. After the remediation is complete, the areas will again undergo testing and air quality sampling to ensure it is safe for students and staff to return. This will not affect the start of classes as we fully expect to have the remediation completed prior to the start of school in September.
The discovery was made during our annual summer cleaning of the building, not as the result of the current Capital Project construction taking place in other areas of the building. Therefore, this remediation work will be addressed through a separate Emergency Capital Project.
As always, if you have any questions please contact my office.
Superintendent of Schools
View August 23 Vermiculite Abatement at MED letter.