Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Calvin Coolidge Elementary is closed indefinitely after asbestos was found in the building's basement.
Although members of the Binghamton Board of Education voted early Tuesday to declare the problem an emergency so that abatement work can begin as soon as possible, the start of the school year remains in jeopardy.
At the end of July, asbestos was found in a crawl space in the basement of the school. The district says the area was immediately sealed off. Summer school and other programs at the school were relocated.
"We are meeting with our health consultants. We're in the process of determining what the protocol may be for the students and staff that may have been in the building," said Assistant Superintendent Karry Mullins.
Crews tested the whole building as a precaution and when elevated levels came back, the building was shut down last Wednesday.
The board's declaration that the site was a public emergency will speed up the abatement process.
"By doing that, we don't have to go competitive bid," Mullins said. "We can hire an abatement company in a much quicker fashion in order to start the process faster."
Mullins said the district is starting to consider looking at other spaces in case it is not open before the start of the school year.