2 Philly schools closed due to asbestos

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Two schools in Philly were closed this week due to asbestos. 

The Benjamin Franklin High School and Science Leadership Academy will remain closed until Thursday. The two schools share a campus in the Spring Garden area of the city. 

During a recent environmental safety walkthrough, officials discovered the asbestos.

Officials told outlets that there was damaged insulation material in the boiler room, which contained asbestos. Additionally, asbestos fibers were found in the Science Leadership Academy common area; the area is currently under construction. 

The campus is now closed for further testing. 

Officials told outlets in a statement that, “The School District of Philadelphia’s top priority remains to provide a healthy, safe and welcoming learning environment for all students and staff.” 

Additionally, they added, “The closing of the campus is a proactive measure.”

The school was slated to have a massive $37 million construction project that was expected to be finished by July, but it was not completed, according to ABC

It was reported that Benjamin Franklin High School and Science Leadership Academy are not the only schools so far during the school year that have had asbestos issues. There were also asbestos concerns at William M. Meredith Elementary in Queen Village.

Since most schools in the Philly area are somewhere between 70 and 80 years old, the concern for asbestos and lead paint is on the rise. The Philly school district set aside over $20.7 million to take of the lead paint and the asbestos issues. Although they do have some funding, officials have noted that they do need more funding.  

Over the course of the past three years, it was reported that over 1,600 asbestos remediation projects have taken place. 

The School District of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers will review the progress and determine when the school should re-open.


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