Crews have begun removing asbestos from under flooring at Adams Spanish Immersion School in St. Paul’s West End neighborhood.

The work is being done after school hours and is part of a multimillion-dollar school makeover made possible by a districtwide long-term facilities plan.

In a notice to families Monday, the district said that a “small amount of asbestos” was discovered during standard testing in preparation for summer construction.

Removal of the material began this week and is expected to run through June 11.

On a Facebook page for the school’s parent-teacher organization, a person objected to the abatement work taking place during the school year and asked others to join in calling the district to seek a delay.

District spokeswoman Toya Stewart Downey said in an e-mail Wednesday, “As with any construction project, there are time frames in which work needs to be done. To wait three or four more weeks would delay the project.”

Jeff Connell, assistant director of facilities for the district, wrote in Monday’s notice to families that the work will begin at night after 6 p.m. and that the area is separated from the rest of the school by a wall and by polyethylene sheeting. The air outside the area will be tested regularly, he added.

Areas in question include vinyl flooring and sealant in an unspecified number of classrooms, as well as material above walls and behind casework that is to be demolished as part of the renovation.

Plans for the project included a three-story addition with nine new classrooms. School officials say the goal is to “right-size” the school for modern uses, not to increase enrollment.

Staff Report