PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Students who attend two Philadelphia schools won’t be returning to class for some time due to asbestos concerns and parents are fired up. McClure and Carnell Elementary Schools were supposed to reopen Thursday but the district says more work needs to be done.
Asbestos has been an ongoing issue in Philadelphia this school year.
Those students will be out of class for at least the next week, and some parents are worried it could be much longer.
Putting pressure on Philadelphia School District administrators, dozens gathered outside of a planned town hall Thursday night. The parents, students and staff were all associated with McClure Elementary School.
Asbestos was found in certain insulated pipes throughout the school. District officials say they discovered the extensive issue on New Year’s Day and will keep McClure closed until at least Jan. 13.
Kindergarten instructor Sade Parham teaches in one of the very rooms which has been found to have the potentially dangerous material.
The district plans to cover and repair the pipes in that classroom, while entirely removing asbestos found in others.
The gym will be closed and sealed until it can be premeditated at a later, unknown date.
That’s not enough, says Parham.
“No, we want it fully removed before we go back into the building,” Parham said.
Alandrea Lugo is in fourth grade at McClure and spoke to administrators directly.
“I want them to fix this real quick because I want to go back to school,” she said.
Right now there is no plan for students to attend school elsewhere.
“We’re taking it day-by-day, as we go through the school and encounter the work that’s actually being done,” district spokeswoman Megan Lello said.
“Now my costs are going to skyrocket because I need to pay for someone to take care of my kids,” one father said.
Even so, parents say the priority is to make sure the air in the classrooms is safe to breathe.
“Take care of this. My kids need to be safe,” one parent said.
Carnell Elementary School is also closed for asbestos issues. District officials are holding a meeting Friday at 4:30 p.m. to address plans for that school.
There is no word on when Carnell could reopen.