Hopkinson School closed for 2 days for asbestos testing

The School District of Philadelphia
Photo credit Mike DeNardo | KYW Newsradio
By KYW Newsradio 1060

UPDATED: 10:29 a.m.

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Francis Hopkinson School in Philadelphia's Juniata neighborhood will be closed Monday and Tuesday for asbestos testing. 

Teachers reported to their union on Friday about a concern over drop ceiling tiles that were replaced over the summer. They say crews did not take precautions to contain the damaged asbestos sitting on top of those ceiling tiles.

Two independent companies will conduct testing in the historic elementary school. The School District of Philadelphia will share test results with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and has invited the union to work with them.

Jerry Roseman, the union’s environmental specialist, said work has been ongoing to address 55 areas of asbestos throughout the crowded school.

“There's damaged asbestos, accessible asbestos throughout the building — in classrooms and hallways and bathrooms, in the music room, in the basement, in the cafeteria — and that's the current concern,” he said.

“When staff came back in the building, they reported there was dust all over and they cleaned up dust as well following that activity.  We just heard that on Friday.”

This is the seventh school that has closed, at one time or another, this school year for asbestos concerns.

The union is also suing the district over how it has handled asbestos in its buildings.

The district has announced no further plans yet for the rest of the week.

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KYW Newsradio’s Mark Abrams contributed to this report.