$1M hazmat bill for school.


Byline: Melissa McKeon

HOLDEN - An investigation of various options for renovating or replacing the Mountview Middle School has uncovered more hazardous materials that would cost more than $1 million to remove.

The hazardous materials would have to be removed before the building could be renovated or demolished to make way for a new school.

According to Mountview School Building Committee Chairman Paul Challenger, the materials aren't a danger to the town's middle schoolers, who continue to use the school.

"Which doesn't mean the (Wachusett Regional School) district won't choose to take action," Mr. Challenger said.

He said the hazardous materials, which include asbestos and polychlorinated biphenyls, are in places students don't access - for instance, embedded in concrete. He said the presence of the materials doesn't rise to a danger level that would necessitate reporting the situation to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Mountview isn't the only school in the Wachusett district grappling with hazardous materials.

The Thomas Prince School in Princeton was required to send three groups of students to Rutland's Glenwood School during the last school year while PCB remediation was completed. That process involved removing the caulk that contained the PCBs and the windows that were caulked and treating the concrete in which the windows were installed.

Princeton Town Administrator John Lebeaux said new windows are being installed this summer, and a plan for regular maintenance and monitoring is being prepared for the EPA. He expects all Princeton students to be back in their classrooms in September.

Mr. Challenger said he expected a detailed list of the hazardous materials at Mountview Middle School within the next...

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