ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — Two metro area schools were closed for the day and will stay closed Tuesday because of asbestos concerns.

St. Louis Park Junior and Senior High Schools closed Monday morning as a precaution because of asbestos in floor tiles, according to the district. The schools are across town from each other but the problems are similar.

School officials are worried about large floor tiles wearing through and exposing their asbestos backs in office areas of both schools. So, Monday morning they sent that students, grades 7-12, home for the day.

“We had a concern related to a floor tile that had been deteriorated based on salt and sand from winter rolling under a desk chair,” said Sara Thompson, Communication Specialist for the St. Louis Park Schools.

The tile is at least 8 feet square and located near the school nurses office in the high school. Staffers noticed it over the weekend, the area was blocked off and after it was tested Monday morning, students were sent home.

Thompson says the district has not had asbestos problems in the past.

“It actually had me really nervous and scared this morning,” said Precious Johnson, who has sons in both schools.

“Oh, I’m concerned,” said Craig Dalessio, while picking up his son at the junior high. “I don’t think there should be asbestos in the school. I mean, that should have been taken care of years ago.”

The district says the both the senior high and the junior high will remain closed on Tuesday. They said additional information will be sent to families.

“They said some chemicals are producing dust and it’s not good for our health. So we had to be evacuated out of the building for today and tomorrow,” said high school student Confort.

Both tiles were being tested Monday. After the results are known, remediation will be planned and the schools reopened.

“The tiles aren’t a problem until they are in some way broken or deteriorated,” said Thompson. “When they’re encased, fully-functional, they are not a health risk at all.”

After-school and evening activities at both the junior and senior high were canceled. Employees from both schools have been asked to work from home.

The district’s offices, which are located in the senior high building, are being relocated along with the school board meeting that will be held Monday night.

Students WCCO Radio talked with were trying to figure out plans for the next couple days.

“Study for my test coming up, and see where it goes from there,” said senior Chris. “They had to cancel our weightlifting program, but they still have basketball practice at another high school.”

“Hang out with some friends, I guess,” said another student.

AUDIO: Message From St. Louis Park Public Schools

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (15)
  1. megan says:

    the schools that are closed are 6th-12th\
    get it right!!!

    1. tanja says:

      i know right megan wait r u from my school

      1. Pieter says:

        You two obviously have not or did not finish high school.

        1. FXD says:

          They just said they were in high school! Leave them alone. Besides, Pieter, you’re not the one who has to go to a school with deteriorated floor tile. Hope these kids have a better time of it than the kids in New York City:

  2. HMMMMM! says:

    Maybe they have been eating the asbestos

  3. Paul says:

    Pieter – Are you picking apart someone’s means of self-expression on a message board? That’s too funny. Give it a rest, dude.

  4. Muzz says:

    What about all the asbestos at the UofM Physicaians medical center? In Phillips Wagensteen building. it is all over, walls, floor tiles pipes. I mean everwhere. in a medical place with ill patients they are always doing asbestos removal. On top of mold from all the flooding in the clinics/ Evertime i walk in PWB i am ill?
    Is it normal to remove Asbestos in clinics with patients still present? building is toxic. Phillips Wageensteen building check it out . There are signs posted all the time “warning asbestos removal.” always doing construction with patients still in building..

  5. Bruce L. Beck says:

    I was very surprised by this story. I thought all the schools were inspected for asbestos back in the early 1980s. We had a big asbestos problem at Tartan HS. We cleaned it out and then a year or two later our Supt. and our head building maintenance guy both died from Cancer. (I was on the school board back then.) I remember appearing on a panel on TPT TV to discuss this problem in the schools. This is serious stuff!

  6. Kate says:

    Asbestos in floor tile and in mastic is not a big problem. Its not friable. This is being overblown. Further air testing will show this. The floor tiles should not have gotten that way in the first place. There is still asbestos in lots of old schools and public buildings. Every school should have an asbestos management plan. This is just another budget cutting problem since the schools cant afford to update their plans and repair/abate/manage their abestos containing materials. This will continue to get worse especially with our tax cutting republican legislature.

  7. radman says:

    I would like to see how wcco news determines how to pay for the extra costs associated with the blown out of proportion problem. Our budgets are already maxed out and income is down. I am curious I can not afford anymore taxes or fees so what is their plan, to resolve the issue they have made a mountain of.

  8. HERB says:

    Ya . . . we want to make sure the MONEY is there before we consider the health of our kids, or paitents in the hospitals. Money is imporntant . . . much more important that just people’s health . . .at least that is what radman would have us believe. Once again, money over people, that IS the republican way! IN EVERY CASE THAT DOES NOT SHOW A PROFIT FOR OTHER REPUBLICANS.

  9. Bob says:

    It is only blown out of proportion if your child’s health or yours is not affected. I just think we are getting the entire story! Who reported the tile leak and how long ago? Who has been brought to the doctor or hospital to be checked out. Isn’t it a bit strange that these events happened on the same day? How about the other schools and their tiles. If it smells like s skunk, looks like a skunk, and acts like a skiunk, it must be a skunk.

  10. Travis Michael says:

    Asbestos is a dangerous material, and it is crucial that it be properly investigating and abated if necessary. Asbestos fibers have been linked to lung cancer, mesothelioma and a plethora of other diseases. Closing the school was an excellent preventative measure to protect students, faculty and staff. Regards, TM

  11. Noah Kouki Nelson says:

    ROFL, the person with the green backpack is me walking TO school 4 hours late, cause I had to take the city bus and no one informed me that the school was closed….