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Asbestos found in Dunn Building's roof

July 31, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- Eleven areas of roofing atop Berkeley County's Dunn Building contain asbestos, but County Administrator Deborah Hammond said a roof replacement project to abate the toxic materials will not affect public services while staff temporarily are relocated.

"It's actually five buildings with five different roof systems ... so there are different roof materials and there are different roof areas," Hammond said at Thursday's Berkeley County Commission meeting.

The project will affect offices of the Eastern Panhandle Regional Planning and Development Council, West Virginia University Extension Service, the county commission, and the county's engineering and building inspection and IT departments, Hammond said Thursday in an e-mail.

"Once we have the schedule for action in each of these areas from the general contractor, each office will be given an approximate time for relocation and the length of relocation and the public will be notified of each relocation prior to the move and after the office is back in place," Hammond said. "Phones will be programmed to ring at the new locations so that the public is not negatively impacted."

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The roofing work, along with replacement of heating and cooling systems, is part of a $4.3 million contract the county has with W. Harley Miller Contractors Inc. of Martinsburg, Hammond said.

Maureen Roskoski, project manager of Facility Engineering Associates (FEA) of Fairfax, Va., told the commission Thursday the asbestos-laden roofing material was nonfriable, which she later said posed less of a health risk than more fragile material that would more easily break apart.

FEA was subcontracted by architect AECOM Design to design the new roof replacement system, including the asbestos abatement for the building, Roskoski said.

Boggs Environmental Consultants Inc. of Frederick, Md., was approved Thursday to work as a third party to monitor the work being done, including the collection of air samples inside and outside of the building while the work is under way.

"If any of the air samples have an elevated level (of asbestos), the contractor has to take precautions, stop work and clean the affected areas until the air samples show they are at acceptable levels," Roskoski said.

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