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Asbestos abatement delays old CMS demolition

Posted: September 14, 2012 5:47 p.m.
Updated: September 17, 2012 5:00 a.m.
Miciah Bennett/C-I

Demolition of the old Camden Middle School, on Laurens Street, will reconvene in a few weeks after abatement of the two story building. The board had to stop all work on the site for 45 days when asbestos tests came back positive after the original abatement. DHEC helped the Kershaw County School District save up to $200,000 with the new procedure.

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Demolition on the old Camden Middle School (CMS) building will resume in a “few weeks” as work to rid the former school of asbestos continues.

The abatement procedure used in the gym and band room worked effectively to remove asbestos in those areas, Kershaw County School District’s (KCSD) Director of Communications Mary Anne Byrd said. However, Byrd said asbestos tests were still positive after applying the same abatement procedure in the two-story building.

KCSD stopped all work on the building, located on Laurens Street, for two weeks while the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and the KCSD did research and “sought second opinions” in order to determine the most cost effective way to remove the remaining asbestos.

The district saved $150,000 to $200,000 in abatement costs by doing the extra research, Byrd said.

As a “precaution,” the district could not continue with any outside demolition with asbestos in the building because of the potential of air pollution.

The district was able to save $250,000 by reusing and selling salvageable items from the old CMS building, including various fixtures and plumbing materials, to use in other schools as needed.

KCSD Director of Operations Billy Smith previously said that a study determined it would cost KCSD just as much or more to remodel the old CMS as it would to build a completely new school. The school, built in 1958, was used until August 2009.

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