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Asbestos found during a construction project at Century High School is not considered to be a health risk for students, staff and faculty.

Darin Scherr, business and operations manager for Bismarck Public Schools, said asbestos was found in the old office area of the school, which is being demolished to become the new kitchen and eating area.

The asbestos was found in the "taping compound" in the Sheetrock in the old office area, and in what was used to adhere the Sheetrock to the concrete block.

Scherr said the amount of asbestos was below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's threshold, but above the guideline set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The Bismarck School Board on Monday approved about $68,000 for asbestos abatement, which Scherr said started Monday and is expected to be done within a week. 

Scherr said the latest cost does not put the district over its projected $57.5 million budget for construction projects at all three middle schools, as well as Century and Bismarck high schools. The district has set aside a "construction contingency" for situations such as this, Scherr said.

(Reach Blair Emerson at 701-250-8251 or Blair.Emerson@bismarcktribune.com)

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Education and Health Reporter