Asbestos Management


In the past, asbestos was used extensively in building materials because of its insulating, sound absorbing, and fire retarding capabilities. Virtually any building constructed before the late 1970’s contained some asbestos. Intact and undisturbed asbestos materials generally do not pose a health risk. Asbestos materials, however, can become hazardous when, due to damage or deterioration over time, they release fibers. If the fibers are inhaled, they can lead to health problems, such as cancer and asbestosis.

In 1986, Congress passed the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), which requires schools to be inspected to identify any asbestos-containing building materials (ACBM).

BISD developed an asbestos management plan in 1988 for each school, which is reviewed and updated regularly. Suspected locations of asbestos-containing building materials (ACBM) have been located, sampled, and rated according to condition and potential hazard. Along with yearly monitoring required by law, every three years, BISD conducts a re-inspection to determine whether the condition of the known or assumed ACBM has changed. At the same time, recommendations are made on managing or removing the ACBM. The last re-inspection in October 2017, evaluated the condition of all identified materials listed in the Management Plan as ACBM (or assumed to be asbestos-containing). The district also has periodic surveillance of the ACBM performed every six months and submits the reports to the schools involved.
The management plan includes information related to:
  • Notification of the availability of the management plan
  • The status of asbestos activities
  • Education and training of employees about asbestos and how to deal with it
  • Notification to short-term or temporary workers on the locations of ACBM
  • Posting of warning labels in routine maintenance areas where asbestos was previously identified or assumed
  • Following set plans and procedures designed to minimize the disturbance of asbestos-containing building materials; how to survey the condition of these materials every six months to assure that they remain in good condition

Ordway, Commodore, and the older buildings at Bainbridge High School still contain ACBM although, much of the original ACBM has been removed during previous remodels and upgrades. The Commodore Steam HVAC system was replaced over the summer of 2018 which made it necessary to remove (abate) asbestos in some areas of the building in strict accordance with the laws governing asbestos abatement.

The district has no plans to remove, encapsulate, or enclose ACBM at Ordway or the BHS 300 & 400 Buildings during the 2019-20 school year. The demolition of the replaced Blakely Elementary School and BHS 100 Building in the summer of 2019 requires the identification and removal of all asbestos under the following guidelines; WISHA 23.35, WAC 296-155-775, WAC 296-65 and WAC 296-62. Any abatement will be completed by August 2019.

Based on their respective dates of construction and project specification requirements prohibiting the use and installation of asbestos containing materials, it is presumed that; Sakai, Woodward, Maintenance, Transportation, Administration and the new Wilkes and Blakely buildings do not contain ACBM.

It is the intention of BISD to continue to comply with all federal and state regulations controlling asbestos and to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure students and employees learn and work in a healthy and safe environment.

You are welcome to review the district’s asbestos management plans. Copies of each building’s plan are available at the school office. Please call Tamela Van Winkle, who is the School District’s Designated Asbestos Program Coordinator, if you have questions about the District’s Asbestos Management Program at (206) 780-1595.