Campus Update - May 7, 2019
Hastings Ranch Nursey School will be closed for the remainder of the academic school year. While our hearts are heavy that our students will not be able to complete the year, our number one priority is the health and safety of our students, staff and community. The closure for the rest of the school year is the safest, quickest way to address potentially harmful materials that were found in class rooms and the office which was knocked free from ceilings during roof renovations.
During our spring break, Trinity Presbyterian Church began renovations on our school’s roof. On the morning of March 25, staff returned to the school to find that ceiling materials had broken free from the roof and fallen to the floor and furniture. These materials were not present prior to March 25. In an abundance of caution, we cancelled school immediately and retained a contractor to sample the material. During the period from March 27-April 19, HRNS worked with an outside asbestos consultant who took wipe, vacuum, and air samples of the dust in all of the classrooms and the office at the school. After analyzing the sample results, the consultant confirmed the presence of asbestos in Rooms 1-4, and 6. The debris and air samples are associated with the materials disturbed during construction. We have no information to indicate any asbestos-containing dust or debris was present before this event. Keep in mind that so long as your child was not in the building after the disruption of the materials, there was no opportunity for exposure. Asbestos is commonly found in many buildings across the United States of similar age and construction-type as HRNS’s building, including in many school buildings. If undisturbed, it presents little or no risk to building occupants.
After receiving the results, we immediately began collaborating with Trinity Presbyterian, outside environmental counsel, and asbestos consultants to develop a response plan to ensure the safe management of any asbestos-containing building materials located in the property. All furnishings that produced positive results will be disposed of per hazardous waste law. Following the guidance of our environmental counsel and consultants, we plan to follow a state approved Procedure 5 Plan (California’s official asbestos state-approval and clean-up protocol) to discard and rectify any asbestos-containing materials found in the school.
The Procedure 5 Plan will proceed under the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s oversight within the next two weeks. The South Coast Air Quality Management District, or SCAQMD, is the air pollution control agency for Southern California, which includes Los Angeles County. This agency develops air standards to clean the air and protect the health of residents in Southern California and oversees cleanup and abatement activities as part of its responsibility to regulate air emissions of asbestos. Once we complete the Procedure 5 Plan, which will clean up any traces of the disturbed asbestos or asbestos-containing material from the school, we will begin abatement of the asbestos containing ceiling materials, which will continue through the summer.
Following these activities, we hope to resume classes in Fall 2019, although our start date may be slightly later in the year than historically. Our priority is to ensure that the students, staff, and community will return to a safe and secure environment. We understand that you may have questions or concerns about this news, so do not hesitate to contact our school director via email. HRNS is committed to keeping an open line of communication with families to update them on the process of abatement. Information related to testing, clean up, abatement will be posted to the Hastings Ranch Nursery School website for public viewing.
Thank you for your continued support as we work hard to reopen the doors to the place we love.