There is asbestos in Farr Hall, and according to Seth Millam, construction project manager, it is pretty common for older buildings to have asbestos.
Millam said many buildings on campus constructed during the 1980s — before contractors stopped using asbestos — still have traces of the substance in their walls. Before the College renovates or tears down those buildings, they hire Chemtech, an environmental health consulting firm, to do a survey of the building in order to search for asbestos. The material is dangerous, and can cause a respiratory disease that aggravates lung tissue and potentially cause lungs to scar.
“[Chemtech] will go through and sample the drywall, sample the ceiling tiles, sample the floor boarding and provide us with a comprehensive report about the asbestos-containing building, and approximate square footages on that, and also help us hire a licensed asbestos abatement contractor,” Millam said.
He added that Farr Hall will not be torn down until the asbestos is removed, and this process would not interrupt construction plans.
Ronan Elliott contributed reporting.