Ledyard — A five-year, $1.5 million asbestos removal project finally came to a close before the start of this school year.
With the exception of the Gales Ferry School, all of the district’s schools are 40 years old or more, said Superintendent Mike Graner, and contained asbestos in the form of floor and in some ceiling tiles.
The plan called for removing the asbestos from all student-staff areas to bring the facilities up to state health codes. Graner said there remains “a minor amount” in some boiler rooms.
The Town Council approved the project in 2008, and Graner said it was completed in phases across five summers while classrooms were not in use. The last school to have asbestos removed was Ledyard High School.
Graner said a state grant covered two-thirds of the cost. The work was coordinated by Sam Kilpatrick, director of buildings and grounds, and Graner said the district’s maintenance staff worked to move out and then meticulously replace all classroom and library materials after the work was finished each summer.
“In addition to it being a health upgrade, it really significantly improved the looks of the facilities,” Graner said.