Update: Facility open today (March 12) following cleanup and retesting

Thirty-six West Virginia University employees who work in the Admissions and Records Building, located between Colson and Hodges halls on the Downtown Campus, were sent home around noon today (March 9), University officials announced. Following leaks in the facilitys roof this winter, air sampling for asbestos was conducted. Testing results came back within federal allowable limits; however, one sample raised concern.

“As a precautionary measure, we sent all employees who work in this building home today so we can conduct a thorough cleaning of the suite over the weekend,”said Joe Fisher, assistant vice president for facilities and services.”We will also conduct air sampling and have it sent to a third-party laboratory for analysis. No one will be allowed back in until we verify that the samples are below the allowable limits. Hopefully, that will be Monday.”

Fisher said the ceiling in this second-floor area is a solid sheetrock coated with sprayed-on decorative material containing asbestos.

A new roof was installed in 1998, Fisher said, and there have been no reported problems until the recent leaks.”But with this recent development, we will initiate the engineering to bid this project for abatement as soon as possible. It becomes a top priority.”

The building is 11,041 square feet; the affected area is approximately 2,000 square feet.

WVU s Coliseum was closed in August 1999 for a large-scale abatement project that was completed in fall 2000.

WVU continues to operate under a manage-in-place program per Environmental Protection Agency recommendations and guidelines, officials say.