Test results show no asbestos in Southgate demolition of vacant school

Residents have been complaining about dust, asbestos

SOUTHGATE, Mich. – After weeks of uncertainty, it’s been revealed that no one is in danger because of the demolition of a former school and former school board facility in Southgate.

Jerry Paulovich, owner of Aqua, the salon, has had a front-row view of the demo for months.

“I think with what’s happened before with the fires, you know, Canada, Nova Scotia, and all this coming here,” said Paulovich. “I think people were concerned about what they’re breathing and what’s going into the air. And, of course, all the children over there to the school next door and neighborhood. I think they’re casually concerned and maybe like anybody else. Some are more worried than others because they just fear the unknown.”

Last week, Local 4 told you how the demolition process was being handled was causing some to worry about the potential of dust and asbestos spreading in the air so close to a neighborhood and playground nearby.

“I mean, it’s not ideal,” said Amy Baustert. “It’s not something I’d like to see happen, but it’s been actually a very long process. It’s been going pretty quickly. It’s just going to be part of the process of the demolition.”

But it turns out there’s nothing to worry about. The Southgate Community School District superintendent sent out a message to parents.

“Because of the news story, EGLE conducted independent and unsolicited asbestos testing of materials on the site. No asbestos was found. Demolition will resume with additional dust suppression activities.”

Sharon Irvine, Superintendent, Southgate Community Schools District

“Southgate’s are a pretty good close community. I think people really are there for the school system, and I think it is a sigh of relief for them,” Paulovich said.

Baustert, however, says she was never worried to begin with.

“I never had a concern,” Baustert said. “We had heard many years ago that they had removed asbestos when they were going to start having a lab to keep the program over there. So I wasn’t concerned at all.”

The results of the tests, as well as a way to monitor the progress of the demolition, can be found here.

About the Author:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.