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Committee working to save asbestos-laden historical building in Alabama

Posted by Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance editorial staff

October 19, 2009

Tuscumbia, Alabama - In Tuscumbia, Alabama, a committee that was organized to study the possible futures of the Cave Street School has announced that the building should be torn down if no buyers step forward. However, the committee also stated that no action should be taken immediately. The committee will work in tandem with another group to make a list of possible uses for the historic school building, and will report to the City Council on November 2.

"When we talk about saving this building, somebody's got to put $1 million into it," Mayor Bill Shoemaker said.

The committee consists of Councilmen George Johnson, Randy Davis and Bobby Mitchell, Parks and Recreation Director Joel Kendrick and Police Chief Tony Logan. The committee has found that saving the building will likely be cost prohibitive, in part due to the amount of asbestos present in the structure. It may cost as much as $500,000 simply to stabilize the building. According to a recent summary, among the projected costs for repairing the building is the cost for asbestos removal, which could total as much as $50,000.

Asbestos exposure has been conclusively linked to the development of mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer. The majority of patients lose their battle with this type of cancer less than two years after being diagnosed.

"Without a buyer, demolition of the building would have to be considered due to continuing deterioration and the potential safety and liability issues associated with the structure," the summary concludes.

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