Asbestos to be removed from Academy

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LOCAL Councillors will be asked next week to approve a project to pave the way for improvements at Inverurie Academy.

Members of the Garioch Area Committee will discuss plans to remove asbestos from the academy on Tuesday, June 19, which could hinder planned refurbishment.

Upgrades are planned for the drama, physical education and technical departments at the school.

This includes converting an office into a drama room, refurbishing existing PE facilities, including changing rooms, and refurbishing wood and metal work practical rooms and technical classrooms.

Materials containing asbestos were discovered in the areas where work would take place and will need to be removed before the work starts to minimise risk to contractors.

Asbestos has also been discovered in the school’s main service duct, which workers will need access to for all three projects.

Due to the high cost of work to remove the material, alternative solutions were looked at to reduce the cost, but none were deemed to be a safe, long-term solution.

Aberdeenshire Council say that where intrusive works are to be carried out in any of the council’s schools, a refurbishment and demolition survey in accordance with the “Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006” is carried out before the contractor is authorised to carry out the works. This ensures a pro-active approach to the management of asbestos.

Head of Property, Allan Whyte, said: “All known high-risk asbestos has been removed from our schools, but the investigative work we always carry out before a project can lead to the discovery of asbestos containing materials not previously identified, but more likely to be where it will be disturbed as part of building refurbishment.

“I should stress undisturbed, undamaged materials containing asbestos within a building are not a safety risk. The asbestos works are a pre-cursor to significant improvements we intend to carry out in the school during the next financial year.”