Asbestos forces school to close

THE discovery of asbestos in the cellars of an Essex primary school has forced it to close for at least four days while it is cleared.Engineers servicing boilers at the St George's New Town Junior School in Colchester found an asbestos lining to the casings needed removing before they could continue their work.

THE discovery of asbestos in the cellars of an Essex primary school has forced it to close for at least four days while it is cleared.

Engineers servicing boilers at the St George's New Town Junior School in Colchester found an asbestos lining to the casings needed removing before they could continue their work.

Now experts are to be brought in to ensure the once-common insulation material is taken away safely from the Canterbury Road premises.

The specialist firm hired to remove the asbestos has stipulated that no adults or children should be on the site when the work takes place.


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The school will close from July 1 to July 4 to allow the firm to take it away.

St George's Juniors is the "sister school" of the nearby St George's Infants School and Nursery, the main building of which has been shut for over a year because of a mystery smell.

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A spokesman for Essex County Council said there was no connection between the two problems.

"They are separate schools, with separate premises. The asbestos was discovered during maintenance. They kept it sealed up and got a specialist company on site.

"This is a routine job which used to be very common in the 1980s when significant amounts of asbestos were removed from school buildings.

"There has been absolutely no risk whatsoever to the health of anyone, either children or staff.

"This is asbestos which had been totally sealed off from the school environment."

In a letter to parents Stuart Gibson, chairman of governors at St George's New Town Junior School, said he had decided to close the school for the four-day period because of the requirements of the specialist asbestos-removing firm.

"Only authorised personnel completing the works are allowed on site," he wrote.

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