Roof leak leads to asbestos problem at St. Christine School

The cleanup company believes the K-8 building in Youngstown will pass air quality tests and school could resume Wednesday

St. Christine School, Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Cleanup of a roof problem at St. Christine School in Youngstown is complete. While the leak didn’t affect the church, it’s kept students and teachers out of class for over a week.

Freezing and expansion not only forms potholes, it can also affect roofs. The temperature change split a rubber roof membrane on top of the K-8 building, so water came into four classrooms and one section of hallway.

It also created another problem.

“Because of the age of the school, there’s asbestos,” Rev. John Keehner said. “The asbestos was contained and even when it’s wet, it’s contained but as soon as it dries, it becomes a hazard.”

That’s when it becomes a powder and can be breathed in.

No teacher, student or administrator has been allowed in the building while crews cleaned up the asbestos.

“The asbestos in those four classrooms and hallway has been abated. We are waiting for results from air quality tests,” Rev. Keehner said.

Those tests are expected to come back on Tuesday. The cleanup company believes St. Christine will pass and school could resume Wednesday.

St. Christine has missed four nonweather-related days and until Friday, was within state law for the number of hours in class. Now it has to consider ways to make up the missed time.

“At this point, we have one day today, one day tomorrow that will need to be made up, and the parents are aware of that because we discussed that at parent meeting on Thursday,” Rev. Keehner said.

Insurance will pay for fixing the damage inside the school. The parish is going to have to pay to fix the roof, which will cost $80,000.


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