CONTACT: STEVE PARROTT
5 Old Capitol
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-0552; fax (319) 335-0558
Release: June 12, 2000
Phillips Hall renovation project is halted for asbestos clean-up
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The basement of Phillips Hall, the site of a heating,
ventilation and air conditioning project, has been closed temporarily until
it can be cleaned. Some debris found at the site Tuesday, June 6 contained
Envirosafe Air of Omaha, Neb., was scheduled to clean the area over the
Based on tests conducted Wednesday, there is no cause for concern about
asbestos exposure for faculty, staff or students who work or take classes
in the floors above the Phillips Hall basement, said officials from the University
of Iowa Health Protection Office. Those officials gathered both air samples
and micro-vacuum samples throughout the basement and found no evidence of
airborne asbestos or general asbestos contamination.
The heating, ventilation and air conditioning project began over spring
break, the week of March 13, when asbestos abatement crews came to clean out
materials previously identified as containing asbestos by the engineering
firm contracted by the UI for the project.
A preliminary investigation of the incident indicates that some small saddle
blocks on pipe hangers were not identified as materials containing asbestos
until after the asbestos abatement crew had finished its work and the project's
primary contractor began removing pipes, pipe hangers, and the saddle blocks.
Asbestos abatement personnel from the University's Facilities Services Group
discovered the possibility of asbestos and called the Health Protection Office
University officials notified the Iowa Department of Natural Resources of
the presence of the asbestos Thursday, June 8.