New London High School Closes Tuesday to Remove Asbestos

New London High School and Science and Technology Magnet High School will be close on Tuesday to remove asbestos.

Heavy rain last month caused flooding, which buckled the floor in the school gymnasium and work has been going on all weekend to fix it.

Timothy Wheeler, the chief of operations for New London Schools, said last month that asbestos was present in one of the layers beneath the gym floor, but experts have assured the school system that there is no public health risk. Air quality studies conducted after the flooding came back negative for any carcinogens.

Local businesses are cleaning up after the heavy rain caused some city streets to flood.

The school sent home a letter last week, saying Mystic Air Quality will test the gymnasium and main corridors of the high school and school will open on Wednesday.

"Confidence is high that the job can be completed within the three days they have requested," Superintendent of Schools Dr. Manuel J. Rivera said in a statement last week. "Equally as important is the great news that this will significantly accelerate completion and readiness of the gym shortly after Thanksgiving break."

The New London City Council president is challenging the incumbent mayor.

The school will move regular fall/winter sporting events that normally take place in the gymnasium for around eight weeks.

Volleyball and cheerleading practices will be held at Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School and all volleyball games scheduled to take place at New London High School have been rescheduled as away games.

Physical education classes will be held outside, weather-permitting, or in the school's new weight and cardio room.

"Had we not decided to conduct the floor repairs this weekend, the next opportunity for the repair would not have come until Christmas break. We are taking a risk, but it is one we believe will result in getting the school back to functioning as normal without also impacting the fall/winter activities that need to take place in the gym," Rivera said in a statement.

School officials said they will be making a decision this week on a make-up day for students and staff.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $387,000, including $110,440 for asbestos abatement, $270,000 for the floor installation and $14,500 for a repair to the roof.

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