Asbestos found at Highland Park Middle School

Education

Test results from rest of school available this weekend

BEAVERTON, Ore. (KOIN) — Asbestos particles found on the gym floor at Highland Park Middle School in Beaverton prompted school officials to cancel Friday classes.

The school was shut down as a safety precaution as testing inside the rest of the school began.

District leaders said white particles were found in a corner of the main gym tested positive for asbestos-containing material. But it’s not clear where it came from — a wall, ceiling or the pipes above.

Highland Park Middle School in Beaverton was closed when asbestos was confirmed inside the gym, November 22, 2019 (KOIN)

Parents received an email Thursday night about the asbestos and Friday closure. The district posted information on its website that school would be closed as a precaution. A company came in and set up monitors to test and they took air and dust samples.

What is asbestos?

“Because we know the gym has a positive result we will do abatement this weekend in the gym,” said Joshua Gamez, the Chief Facilities Officer for the Beaverton School District. “Anything we find in the rest of the school we will have to make a decision about how we move forward.”

Highland Park Middle School in Beaverton was closed when asbestos was confirmed inside the gym, November 22, 2019 (KOIN)

Highland Park Middle School was built in 1965. The district has known — and included in required public reports — the school has asbestos building materials. Other schools do, as well.

The district said they perform regular inspections, but there is no requirement the material be removed if it’s not disturbed.

Test results from other parts of the school are expected to be available this weekend. A decision at that point will be made whether or not to re-open all or part of the school on Monday.

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