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Yellow Brick School is ready to reopen Monday

Janet Urquhart

Aspen’s Yellow Brick School is expected to reopen Monday with a clean bill of health, according to city officials.

The West End school was closed in late August after workers doing remodeling work apparently spread asbestos in the building. The cleanup work has been completed, said Ed Sadler, the city’s asset manager.

The basement boiler room, where the problems all began, has been cleaned and tested. No asbestos was revealed in the testing, he said. Installation of the new boiler and piping should be finished by today, and the system will be tested over the weekend.

Several day care and preschool programs at the school that were forced to relocate after the contamination was discovered are expected to reopen at the school next week, Sadler said.

Two nonprofit organizations also have offices in the building. The basement offices have been recleaned after slight levels of contamination were detected after the first cleaning, though the asbestos was well within acceptable levels, according to Sadler.

“In five tests, we picked up three whole fibers,” he said.

The city’s costs for the Yellow Brick mess have been minimal, Sadler said. It paid for the second cleaning of the offices and the busing costs for day care operations that had to use other facilities. The city had contracted to replace the boiler and will pay for that work, but cleaning up after the inadvertent spreading of asbestos from the boiler area falls on the shoulders of the general contractor, Performance Technologies, Sadler said.

The city has also provided about $10,000 in loans to day care providers to cover costs associated with their temporary relocation, said Tabatha Miller, city finance director.

“We have helped out with some operating loans that may or may not be forgiven,” she said. It’s up to the City Council to decide whether they want to cover the added expense to the day care providers, Miller said.

Mayor Rachel Richards indicated this week that she doesn’t think the providers should eat the costs they incurred as a result of the trouble at the Yellow Brick.

“I find it hard to believe our day care providers will be left holding the expenses,” she said.

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Posted: Friday, October 6, 2000


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