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Asbestos removal and modernization underway at Bayside’s P.S. 159

Sep. 26, 2023 By Iryna Shkurhan

In an effort to improve the educational experience for students and staff at Bayside’s P.S 159, the school is undergoing window replacement and asbestos removal work as part of a modernization project.

“Although this renovation work will inevitably cause noise, the SCA will strive to minimize the disruptions to you and your neighbors,” Benjamin Goodman, external affairs manager for the School Construction Authority, said in a letter. 

To avoid disruptions during school hours, most construction will take place after 3 p.m. on weekdays and can last until 11 p.m. On weekends and school holidays, work will be conducted between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The School Construction Authority anticipates that the project will be completed in the fall of 2025. 

According to the School Construction Authority, a comprehensive asbestos investigation was conducted prior to starting work to determine if any asbestos containing material (ACM) would be impacted. The removal of found ACM will be performed by a licensed asbestos abatement contractor under a Department of Environmental Protection permit. 

Asbestos can not pose a hazard and contaminate the air if it is encapsulated in the walls, according to scientific research. But construction workers are at an increased risk of asbestos-related illness such as cancer and scarring in the lungs and stomach. Exposure to asbestos fibers does not cause any immediate health problems. 

In adherence to regulations, workers who will be exposed to ACM will be wearing protective suits and respiratory protection. A consultant and representatives from an environmental consulting firm will monitor the air to ensure that asbestos removal is taking place properly and safely. Subsequent test results will be available for any interested parties through the school. 

“We regret this disturbance to the community but, with your cooperation, we hope to finish this project earlier than anticipated,” wrote Goodman.

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