Asbestos found in Chute Middle School gymnasium


Daily file photo by Patrick Svitek

Chute Middle School’s gym will be closed for at least two months following the discovery of asbestos.

Divya Bhardwaj, Assistant City Editor

A burst pipe led to the discovery of asbestos in Chute Middle School’s gym, resulting in its temporary closure, according to Joseph Sierra, director of operations at Evanston/Skokie School District 65.

Water from a burst pipe in a store room spread to the gym, causing the wooden floor to expand, Sierra said at District 65’s Personnel, Building and Grounds and Finance Committee meeting Monday.

“We had to call a mitigation company to come and do an assessment, and it’s considered a total loss,” Sierra said. 

Due to its age, the floor was also tested for asbestos. The result was positive. The school must complete the asbestos abatement process before work on the floor’s replacement can commence. Sierra estimated the gym will be closed until at least late March. 

The district will pay a $2,500 deductible for the abatement and floor replacement. The rest of the cost will be covered by insurance. 

The abatement will take place after school hours, when students and staff are not in the building, Sierra said.

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