PHILADELPHIA - Franklin Learning Center announced Tuesday that it will be closed until January after asbestos was discovered in the school's ventilation system.
According to the school, the damage is located in an air shaft connecting the attic to the fan room. The district is working to clean and abate the fan room and air shaft. Work is expected to be completed by Jan. 2 when the students are scheduled to return from winter break.
Since the effected air shaft impacts the school's ability to heat the building, school district's office of environmental management will conduct air testing and clean the building prior to the student's return to school. Air quality test results will be found here upon completion.
Franklin Learning Center is now the fifth Philadelphia school closed due to asbestos. Ben Franklin High School, Science Leadership Academy, Peirce Elementary School and Pratt Early Start Pre-school have also dealt with asbestos issues.
“For the first time in recent memory, the District quickly reported to us the discovery of an immediate environmental hazard and committed to collaborate with us on a plan for swift remediation," Teacher's Union President Jerry Jordan said.
"However, it is problematic that our recommendation to conduct this building assessment was made months ago, and only just took place.”
The school district says it is "committed to getting this right and providing our teachers and students with the schools they deserve."
Franklin Learning Center will welcome families to the school on Jan. 2 to discuss concerns with the district's environmental management representative.