Classes will resume at Wanette Schools Wednesday after testing on the heat and air system was negative for any asbestos particles.
Testing on the system was needed after there was a positive test result for asbestos particles on the Wanette Elementary playground, Superintendent Dr. Silvia McNeely reported through the district's Facebook page.
According to letters sent out by the district, those particles were there as a result of a fire on March 20 that burned the old cafeteria/science building that had been vacant and unused for many years. That building is directly across the street from the playground area.
Because of the age of the building that burned, district officials became concerned with possible health hazards after that fire, including asbestos, and began communications with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality for guidance, which resulted in on-site inspections and the school closing early on Friday.
School remain closed Monday for testing, with a negative test result found, but as a precautionary measure, school remained closed Tuesday for a second test.
In a letter to parents and guardians dated Tuesday, the superintendent said ODEQ has confirmed a second negative result on the tests for the heat and air system, so the school will be open for classes on April 3.
While classes are in session, however, students will not be able to use the playground until the rubber surface from the playground is removed and replaced, she reported.
Additionally, McNeely said that a professional removal of debris at the site of the fire will begin as soon as the school board votes to move forward with a licensed asbestos abatement company.
The district has provided students, parents and others a list of frequently asked questions and answers about asbestos, but any additional questions can be directed to the school.