Harrigan Centennial Hall was re-opened this afternoon (Wed 5-20-15), after an asbestos scare forced an emergency closure on Tuesday.
Building Manager Don Kluting said a gray substance was found on spare door and a sample sent to a lab in Washington state, with negative results.
“There is no hazardous materials identified in that sample that was sent to the lab in Auburn,” said Kluting. “So as of right now we are open for business. Business as usual.”
The building has been closed for two days awaiting those results. Staff discovered the substance while cleaning out the building, inside a fire-rated, vintage door from the 1966 construction.
“The insulation in between the two laminates fell out and it was a gray material that had some fibers in it,” Kluting explained. “We had the discussion: ‘What is this? Do we know its asbestos. Do we know that its not asbestos?'”
Asbestos is hazardous only when airborne, but difficult to detect in a home or building. The gray material in question ended up being inert, as Kluting hoped it would be. Harrigan Hall previously tested negative for asbestos in 2012, but Kluting says that doesn’t mean the space is without asbestos beneath the walls.
“Going forth in the project, we do know that we have some asbestos within the building, like the joint compound and the sheet rock has a little bit,” said Kluting. “That’s going to have to be handled by the contractor. But from here on out, there should be no surprises.”
Harrigan Centennial Hall will close on July 15th and keys handed over to the contractor on August 1st.