‘No danger to pupils’ after asbestos found

editorial image

Engineers were called in to Southern Regional College’s Portadown campus this week when asbestos was discovered after a heating failure.

The college has moved quickly to reassure the public that there is no threat to students or staff following tests by a specialist asbestos contractor.

The presence of the potentially hazardous material came to light when the heating broke down last Monday. According to a college spokesperson, a leaking water pipe was subsequently discovered within Yellow Block.

She added, “Upon further investigation, suspected asbestos material was discovered and, in accordance with college procedures, all further investigative work was stopped and the area was immediately cordoned off to all students, staff and visitors.

“The college immediately engaged with a specialist asbestos contractor and, following tests, confirmed that there was no airborne asbestos present. The college has informed the Health and Safety Executive for NI and has ensured that at all stages there was never any risk to our students and staff.”

Specialist asbestos contractors were on site on Wednesday to deal with the issue, and on Monday heating engineers will begin remedial work to the heating system.

The heating system is expected to be fully functional when staff and students return after the Christmas break on January 4.

The spokesperson stressed that the campus remained open and only one part of the building was affected by the heating problem. No classes were cancelled.