K-12 Education

Asbestos investigation to close Washington HS until end of week

District: one area of main building tested "above acceptable level"

The exterior of Washington High School in Cedar Rapids. (courtesy Cedar Rapids Community School District)
The exterior of Washington High School in Cedar Rapids. (courtesy Cedar Rapids Community School District)

CEDAR RAPIDS — An asbestos investigation and related action will keep Washington High School closed for the remainder of the week, according to a release sent by the Cedar Rapids Community School District.

A contractor working at the school over the summer raised the issue, and the concern was reported to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

The building was closed Wednesday for the DNR and district to investigate the possible issue. Testing revealed one area of the main building “is currently above an acceptable level,” according to the release. The building will remain closed while officials implement a plan to deal with the asbestos.

The release from district spokeswoman Marcia Hughes said that work could take until the end of this week or longer.

The issue was raised after students and staff had left for summer break, the district said.

Activities scheduled in the main building are being rescheduled or relocated. The issue does not affect the school's fine arts building, which remains open, according to the release.

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