Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Lead Paint Peeling Off in Sheets at Van Asselt Elementary

Saturday's caucus at Van Asselt was the first time I'd ever been inside a school on Beacon Hill. I was thinking it looked pretty shabby, but it sounds like the situation is worse than I thought.

From Sunday's Seattle Times:

And while district officials say health and safety issues are always a priority, just last week lead-based paint was flaking onto the playground at Van Asselt Elementary School — a problem the district identified 10 years ago. ... Tests have shown the paint contains up to 30 percent lead, well above the federal standard of 0.06 percent.

According to the story, district spokesman David Tucker said that lead paint is common on old buildings and isn't a problem until it begins to peel.

Yeah, well...

The school district is claiming to have fixed some of the problems at Van Asselt already:

Over the past several years at Van Asselt, the district has replaced the roof and flooring and fixed windows and broken bathroom-door locks. But it hasn't blocked access to the roof, which has been subject to vandalism, and tetherball poles on the playground are in bad shape.

But from first-hand experience three days ago, I can say that the bathroom door locks are not fixed.


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1 comment:

Nikchick said...

We moved to the neighborhood when my daughter was starting Kindergarten and there was no way I was going to send her to Van Asselt even though it's an easy walk. (And that was seven years ago!)

The state of Seattle's schools is really appalling. School PTAs regularly have to hold numerous fund-raisers every year to do things like pay for their own maintenance to keep classroom computers running, pay for librarians and other support staff or make up for lack of funding for full-day Kindergarten. They replaced school water fountains a couple of years ago with bottle water coolers because of drinking water concerns. I'm not surprised at all that the district isn't taking care of maintenance either. Hell, they couldn't even get anyone to take the job of Superintendent for years after Stanford died in '98.