During the spring break, large amounts of asbestos were removed from the drama society’s “DramaBarn” as the campus wide phenomenon continues. The work took place during the holidays as part of a coherent plan to renovate the balcony of the performance space.
The work was carried out by the estates department of the University faculty during the spring break at the request of the drama society in order to improve the venue. A routine asbestos survey was made, as is customary with renovation work on the old campus, and a positive trace of the poisonous substance was found. The asbestos was then removed by university staff and the renovation work continued and was c o m pleted in good time before the start of term.
The drama society is grateful for the work and is pleased with the rejuvenation, as it was done to a high standard. It reflects well that the work has now improved the much-used performance space. Now visitors can enjoy performances from a new balcony space.
The dangerous mineral asbestos has a history on campus. Once lauded for its insulating properties, it was a primary building material for most of Heslington West. However, it is now known that the dust it produces causes deadly disease, and most prominently, the cancer mesothelioma which infects the lining of the lungs on victims.
The campus has had the ordeal of removing the dangerous substance from multiple buildings across the University campus over the years since the University’s inception. This new case demonstrates how the ever-present substance is an issue for any desired renovation of the University’s older buildings.
The University now has a designated asbestos team, with two coordinators and a manager.