Demolition works at Gooenllabah Public School.
Demolition works at Gooenllabah Public School. Marc Stapelberg

Asbestos to be removed from Goonellabah school during works

THE Department of Education has confirmed that work at Goonellabah Public School does include some asbestos removal but says disruptions to students has been kept at a minimum.

While the refurbishment works started at Goonellebah Public School during the summer break on January 13, a department spokesman said the substantial planned maintenance works being delivered at the school was expected to continue until June.

The works include parts of the school being painted, toilet refurbishments and roofing.

In a recent newsletter, principal Mark Spencer thanked students for their patience, stating that the works were "causing disruptions to classrooms and we have a number of classes in temporary spaces".

"C-Block which is the block the Kindergarten rooms are in will be impacted the most," he wrote.

A Department of Education spokesman said the department was working closely with the school to minimise impacts by scheduling work at appropriate times and outside of school hours to ensure the safety of the school community and neighbours".

"The school has made alternative class arrangements for the duration of the work, ensuring teacher student ratios are maintained and no student is disadvantaged," the spokesman said.

"The kindergarten classes are back in their own rooms."

The spokesman said some bonded asbestos containing material (ACM) in specific areas would be removed outside school hours on identified weekends.

"A notification of these works was distributed to the parents and the community," the spokesman said.

"This material will be removed in accordance with the Department of Education's Asbestos Management Plan and SafeWork NSW regulations.

"All work will be completed by licensed and accredited asbestos removalists, and directed by an independent hygienist in strict accordance with all applicable legislation, regulations, policies and guidelines."

The Department of Education was further asked why the building works was not completed in the six-week holidays prior to school commencing.

"The scope of planned maintenance works is significant and is anticipated for completion by June this year," the spokesman said.