Greeley, Colorado - Nearly 15 years ago, School District 6 in Northern Colorado received funding from a class action lawsuit for asbestos abatement projects. However, after an anonymous local politician started asking questions regarding the funding and settlement, it turned out that School District 6 does not have any record of the funding, if it was spent or even if it was received.
Questions regarding the settlement funding came to light after it was determined that John Evans, a former school in the district scheduled for demolition, needed nearly $1 million in asbestos abatement funding. The anonymous politician asked the Chief Operations Officer, Wayne Eads, whether the school district applied for federal grant money for the asbestos removal.
Eads said that the school district had applied for grant money and did receive asbestos abatement funding for John Evans, but Eads did not know what happened to the funding.
Further compounding the issue, the school district was the recipient of asbestos abatement funding stemming from a class action settlement in the 1990s. A spokesperson for the school district confirmed that district officials did not know what happened to the funding.
According to the spokesperson, the school district never received asbestos abatement funding specifically for John Evans. The veiled financial dealings of the school district have become a sore point with the community.
Currently, the school district has applied for a BEST grant from Colorado to help fund a replacement school for John Evans. This grant is contingent upon the passage of a bond that is up for vote.
As a naturally occurring set of minerals, asbestos is both highly toxic and versatile. Up until the discovery that asbestos is linked to several devastating medical conditions – including mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that affects the delicate, protective tissue surrounding the heart, lungs or abdominal cavity – asbestos was used mainly in manufacturing.
From building and plumbing supplies to ships and submarines, asbestos covered virtually every facet of industry during the twentieth century. Now banned in the United States, the main concern regarding asbestos is that many buildings still contain asbestos. Removing asbestos or asbestos abatement is a costly and dangerous enterprise that should be handled professionals to ensure health and safety.