Prison awards contract for asbestos removal

December 28, 1999|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Franklin County officials say asbestos at the county prison doesn't pose a health threat to corrections officers or prisoners, but work will start next month to remove it.

First Capital Insulation of York, Pa., on Tuesday was awarded a $51,700 contract by the Board of County Commissioners to remove the asbestos.

The company submitted the lowest of three bids, the highest of which was almost $74,000, according to County Administrative Assistant Brian Kelly.

Commissioner G. Warren Elliott said the asbestos was discovered when a maintenance worker accidentally punched a hole in the ceiling with a mop handle. "We're going to remove that and put in a drop ceiling," he said.


The asbestos coating is plastered on ceilings in the lobby, visitors' room, offices and the central guard station, according to Kelly. Widely used in the past as insulation, asbestos fibers are suspected carcinogens but pose little health threat if the material is properly installed.

No cell-blocks in the 27-year-old building are affected, Kelly said.

County Administrator John Hart said air quality tests have been conducted at the prison. The results passed state and federal standards.

Kelly said the work will be done on weekends to keep disruptions to a minimum and is expected to take five weekends to complete.

To keep the guard station open, the work on that area will be split over two weekends.

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