Asbestos found inside Coolidge, UVMtv left homeless indefinitely

Chairs, desks and computers piled to the ceiling in one room of the UVMtv station give way to a partially lifted carpet, which was sealing in asbestos beneath the tiles. The UVMtv station, located in the basement of Coolidge, is nearly emptied after Residential Life staff lifted a patch of carpet, cracking a tile and re?vealing asbestos beneath the floor on Thursday morning at around 9 a.m. “It’s not a big deal,” said Walter Bartlau, the information technology professional for Residential Life. Bartlau was helping dismantle computers in the station in an attempt to upgrade the space and replace the carpet when the asbestos was found, he said. He lifted a piece of the carpet, which was coming up easily, but a tile cracked, he said. “Once anything moves, in an old building like that, you have to stop immediately and have someone check for asbestos,” Barlau said. Asbestos was commonly used in construction before it was found to be harmful. If it becomes air borne, dust particles can stay in the lungs and are known to increase a per?son’s risk of cancer, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Web site. Those present contacted Hazmat, a UVM affiliated risk management group, which determined there were levels of asbestos beneath the tiles, said Stacey Miller, director of Residential Life. ” I had no idea they found asbestos,”Chris Slania, first floor RA in Coolidge, said Friday afternoon. “The rumor was that UVMtv got banned.” “It makes me worried that they didn’t tell us,” Brennan Jewett, a sophomore resident of Coolidge, said. “It’s not like we just attend classes in here, we live here all of the time.” Miller said there was no need to notify the students, or Resident Advisors. “As long as the space isn’t tampered with it’s not an exposure issue,” Miller said. “We didn’t feel the need to notify the students because there’s no risk to them.” “How can they not tell us?” John Bargayo, a sophomore resident of Coolidge, said. “They should have at least told us.” Although not worried, Tatiana Ramos, a sophomore resident of Coolidge, said they should have told Coolidge residents. “If it was a threat they would’ve had to tell us, but it still would’ve been nice to know,” she said. Hazmat will be working closely with Residential Life in order to clean up the asbestos properly and officially, Bartlau said. “It should be all cleaned up and resolved within a week to 10 days,” Paul Lynn, the Administration Facilities Professional for Residential Life, said. The process will not be cheap, but since Hazmat is UVM affiliated, the Residential Life budget should be able to cover it, Miller said.