CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Reports of “assumed asbestos-containing material” at Oasis Elementary North and Elementary South spread like wildfire on Tuesday. One parent spoke with Fox 4 on the phone, where she expressed her concern if the asbestos is triggering her daughter’s asthma.
Fox 4 went to the city looking for answers, asking why there wasn’t more transparency.
This all started in June when the City of Cape Coral, which directly oversees the Charter Schools, did not have an Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act Report completed in the last 3 years as required by The Lee County School District. Cape Coral Communications Manager Melissa Mickey explained.
“When we received a notification from the school district that they needed that report, we talked to the schools,” said Mickey. “There wasn’t a previous report that we could find. So, the city got a hold of the contractor and went through this inspection. If there had been a report that we had, that could provide what maybe had been done in the past that would have been fine, and we wouldn’t be dealing with this right now.”
That inspection was done on June 29 and the reports were completed on July 6. Oasis South posted it to their website on August 1 and Oasis North posted it to their website under news and announcements on August 9, but parents told us that no letters or emails went out to them.
The report showed 34 assumed suspected asbestos-containing materials located at Oasis South and 35 suspected materials at Oasis North. Those items included vinyl floor tiles, carpet, and ceiling tiles. While it is assumed these materials contain asbestos, it is important to note, it is not confirmed that they actually do.
Now we are learning that Cape Coral issued a purchase order to a contractor on July 13 to sample these locations. But, the city tells Fox 4 that due to scheduling conflicts, sampling couldn’t start until this week. Sampling started on Wednesday and may continue on Thursday.
The City of Cape Coral says they expect results back from contractor testing to confirm the existence of asbestos in about a month's time.