School District of Philadelphia vows to increase asbestos inspections at school buildings

The School District of Philadelphia argues, in the wake of recent closures of city schools due to asbestos, it’s focused on the problem and inspecting school buildings.

School officials called reporters to district headquarters Tuesday to hear from Victoria Flemming, one of the officials leading the effort to inspect for asbestos and do repairs. 

School officials said they are spending tens of millions of dollars to pay private firms to inspect school buildings with a goal of 50 per month. 

Six schools have been recently closed when asbestos was found disturbed in the buildings. Vare Middle School, Frankford High School and Mitchell Elementary School remain closed.


The district was noncommittal when asked if they're bracing for more closures from the upcoming inspections that Flemming called "a step in the right direction."

Most of Philadelphia’s more than 300 school buildings, with an average age of 73-years, have asbestos around pipes, in floor tiles, and in plaster. The substance becomes a health hazard when disturbed. Asbestos has plagued city schools for years prompting closures and sending students online or to other schools.