Workers are removing some asbestos from previously concealed areas in Nicholasville Elementary School — one minor hiccup in a major renovation project that is otherwise flowing smoothly.
Architect Margie Jacobs with Tate Hill Jacobs told the Jessamine County Board of Education about the problem at its work session June 25. At that time, asbestos had been discovered on approximately 742 feet of pipe on the first and second floors of the school.
A $10,000 allowance for asbestos removal was included in the renovation documents, but Jacobs suggested the board dip into the project’s contingency funds for about $15,000 and leave the allowance for additional asbestos.
“If that’s the way we’re going to go, I would recommend that you allow me to come before you formally and ask you to approve the total amount — $15,806.35 — and write a change order for that,” she said. “That puts the $10,000 right back in our budget to deal with additional asbestos as it is discovered.”
The board gave its nod of approval for the removal and should see a change order at a future meeting. The alternative not recommended by Jacobs was to cover the asbestos back up.
“If it’s my home, it wouldn’t be there,” board vice chairperson Amy Day said.
Superintendent Lu Young said she expected the abatement to be complete within the next six weeks, before fourth- and fifth-graders come back to the school in August. They will be moved around the school away from construction as the project is phased; the primary grades will attend school in an unrenovated portion of Jessamine Early Learning Village.
The drilling for geothermal wells on the front lawn of the school is progressing quickly, Jacobs said, with 80 of the 120 wells complete when she spoke to the board June 25. Young said the district had received no complaints from neighbors about the drilling on the “iconic green space” and that the lawn would be restored fully when the work was done.
“We knew the lawn was going to be disrupted and the wells would be such a presence there, we sent a letter to each of the residents just to let them know what to expect, and I think that must have headed off some of the concerns so that folks know that it’s for a fairly short period of time,” she said.