Cedar Rapids Community School District takes your safety seriously and welcomes your input. Please contact your building principal/administrator and report any safety concerns that you may have. This includes bullying, harassment, discrimination or anything that you feel threatening Thank you for helping us keep staff and students safe.
School and District Response to DNR Report
District Statement – Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015
The District has had an opportunity to review the DNR’s public litigation report with the project’s architect/engineer and legal counsel. This review found that there were several inaccuracies in the report. In addition, there were areas of the report that only contained partial or incomplete accounts of events that caused the account of those particular events to be inaccurate.
As a result of the District review of the report, the District has determined the following:
1. Although the report alleges there were instances where uncontained asbestos was found in the school, these allegations involve areas of the school where abatement and renovation work was occurring and where students and staff members were not present.
2. When the District was made aware that uncontained asbestos was found in the school, appropriate measures were immediately taken to address the situation consistent with commonly accepted asbestos abatement procedures. These procedures included: identifying the presence of asbestos; placing the area where asbestos was present under containment so no one other than asbestos abatement workers could enter the area; cleaning the area; testing the air in the area; recleaning and retesting the area, if necessary; and reopening the area only after air tests indicated that the area was clear of asbestos.
3. One air sample that was taken in a construction zone was slightly higher than the clearance criteria. Based upon this information and recommendations from the District’s consultants and the DNR, the District chose to proactively close the building and clean all areas that had been affected by recent construction including adjacent areas. The cleaning was performed by abatement contractors that were not associated with the original abatement firm. After the areas were cleaned, 105 air samples were taken throughout the building and testing confirmed that the building was safe for occupation prior to the start of school.
4. Throughout the course of the District’s interaction with the DNR, the District has cooperated with the DNR and has taken action consistent with the DNR’s directives to insure the safety of individuals and the job site immediately upon receipt of the DNR’s directives.
The District’s actions have always been motivated by the District’s goal to provide a safe environment for students and staff at school and the workers on the job site. The District looks forward to addressing its concerns regarding the inaccuracies contained within the DNR’s litigation report with the Environmental Protection Commission.
Dr. Plagman email to all Washington families – Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015
Washington families and staff –
I want to update you regarding an issue that was raised during our summer construction effort about the possibility of asbestos in the main building. At that time, the District took immediate steps to address the concern and worked closely with the Department of Natural Resources to develop and implement a plan that ensured all areas of the building were safe. It is important to note that this situation happened after students and staff had been dismissed for the summer break. It is also important for me to remind everyone that the air quality in the school was intermittently checked throughout the construction project and was found to be at acceptable levels in occupied areas.
You may be aware that the DNR has now issued a report to the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission regarding the situation. District officials will meet with both organizations on Dec. 15 to review and discuss these past issues. I am writing today to re-assure you that air quality in our school building is safe.
When there is updated information on the past incident, we will share that with you.
Thank you. As always, it’s a great day to be a Warrior.
District Statement – Monday, Dec. 7, 2015
Student and staff safety has been and continues to be the top priority of the Cedar Rapids Community School District.
The District was notified today (Dec. 7, 2015) that the meeting with the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission scheduled for Dec. 15 has been postponed. A rescheduled date and time has not been finalized. The District has received a copy of the public litigation report and is reviewing it with legal counsel to develop a plan to discuss the concerns raised by the Department of Natural Resources.
Throughout the course of the District’s interaction with the DNR, the District has cooperated with the DNR and taken action consistent with the DNR’s directives to insure the safety of the job site immediately upon receipt of the DNR’s directives. In addition, the District has worked with the DNR, the project architect, and the contractors on site to provide a safe work environment while continuing to work on keeping the project on schedule. At this time the District has not been provided with any information indicating that any individual has tested positive for asbestos as a result of their presence at the job site.