More than a facelift: MHS demolition, abatement underway

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MEEKER I The high school in Meeker is actually getting more than just a facelift; It’s getting some major reconstructive surgery. On July 8, members of the Meeker Board of Education were given a tour of the progress of the renovations.
A great deal has been done so far, including the removal of the historic “M”, but they’re just getting started. The “M” was actually salvaged during its removal and there are plans to do something to preserve it in the school in some way.

The progress made in the last few weeks has been a little less obvious than the major demolition part of the project. Much of the work of late has involved the safe abatement of materials in the school that contained asbestos. The dangers of asbestos occur primarily when particles of the material become airborne where they can be inhaled. None of the asbestos found in the school was capable of being airborne, thereby negating any risk to students prior to the demolition. However once the removal process began, extreme measures were taken to prevent any of the particulate asbestos from being allowed to escape into the air.
The filler paint on the walls of the auxiliary gym is one example of this process. The surface of the block walls is being ground off and all the subsequent material collected in a rather high-tech process. It was also discovered that some asbestos material under part of the building in a crawl space had been mildly contaminated and will have to be abated in a similar fashion.
After the tour of the high school, the school board met briefly for a business meeting. One of the topics discussed was with regard to handling of grants and existing bonds. In short, grant monies that have been received by Meeker School District will be kept in a separate account and used to pay down the principle of existing bonds. A second bond sale is targeted for the week of July 22. The resolution document for this sale includes language to describe the aforementioned principle reduction process, keeping the process in line with how the process was described in the ballot voted on by Meeker residents. The board subsequently approved the revised document and to move forward with the next bond sale. The board also approved a personnel matter regarding the hiring of a new bus driver.