By Daniel Johnson, Investigative Reporter
Parts of Ken Chappy Hall have undergone asbestos and lead paint removal in preparation for the creation of a new faculty office space said Director of Communications and Media relations, Brad Moore.
CNM has removed the asbestos in Ken Chappy Hall in compliance with city, state and federal laws, including the city of Albuquerque, Environmental Protection Agency, New Mexico Environmental Department and OSHA, he said.
“All rooms that are currently open in Ken Chappy Hall are safe to use”, Moore said.
Asbestos is not dangerous until it is disturbed and becomes airborne, where it can be inhaled or ingested by people, he said.
The asbestos abatement was done so the area can be safely remodeled to provide new faculty office space, he said.
There was recently an addition of new furniture and some other minor upgrades to the SAGE instructor office spaces prior to the asbestos removal in Ken Chappy Hall, but is now being renovated in a much more comprehensive and structural way to provide more space for faculty and the offices they use, he said.
When this current renovation is complete, faculty from CHSS, MSE and SAGE will occupy the new office spaces, he said.
This project is in conjunction with the CNM Master Plan to provide centralized faculty office locations on Main campus, he said.
“This will hopefully encourage more collaboration among faculty members,” Moore said.
The instructors who were in the space that is being renovated are now located temporarily in classrooms in Ken Chappy, he said.
More space is now available in Ken Chappy because the registration office for Adult Basic Education classes has been moved to the recently remodeled Student Services Center, he said.
“Ken Chappy Hall is the only location that needs this kind of attention at this time,” Moore said.
The construction cost for the Ken Chappy renovation project, including the asbestos abatement, is $670,000, said Moore.
The removal of asbestos has been completed and the faculty office renovation is expected to be completed around the start of the 2014 fall term, he said.
“If other buildings become pinpointed for renovations, and they are older buildings, studies will be done to determine if there are any dangerous substances such as asbestos that require special attention prior to any renovations,” he said.
When a building has been chosen for renovation, many studies are done to evaluate whether there are dangerous materials within the structure, including studies to determine whether asbestos is present, he said.
Buildings built prior to the early 1980s could have asbestos inside them in inaccessible areas like inside walls or above the ceilings, he said.
The reports from these studies are used to determine how a building is renovated, he said.
The contractor for this project was KEERS Remediation Inc., and they specialize in the safe removal of asbestos, he said.
They are thoroughly trained in removing asbestos and disposing of it properly, he said.
An inspector from the New Mexico Environmental Department checked the site on Thursday, May 22, and confirmed that the project was being conducted appropriately and safely, he said.
KEERS Remediation Inc. Service Coordinator, Emily Sanchez said the removal of the asbestos went as planned and finished on schedule.
“The crew that worked out at CNM ran into no hiccups or problems during the removal process which was a good thing,” she said.
Upon completion of the removal a test sample was sent to a third party tester and all results returned as negative, she said.
Currently KEERS Remediation is not working on any other projects on CNM campuses, Sanchez said.