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Schools Still Closed amid Budget Problems

Uncertainty remains about when hundreds of students can return to their regular classrooms after trustees of the Ocean View School District agreed Thursday to delay work needed to reopen one of three campuses closed after asbestos was discovered.

Huntington Beach district is facing a possible $7.8 million budget shortfall following the discovery of asbestos which closed Oak View, Lake View and Hope View elementary schools so that potentially hazardous material could be removed.

When Hope View, Oak View and Lake View were built decades ago, asbestos was used as fireproofing on metal beams above the ceilings. Over time, asbestos dust began to fall from the beams and settle on classroom ceiling tiles, and while undisturbed asbestos is not harmful, it can become a hazard when the dust becomes airborne and cause cancer and other lung disease if inhaled over time.

Now the cost of removing the asbestos and modernizing the schools is thought to be an additional $9.2 million in costs which was not budgeted for.

The district board has now agreed to finish asbestos removal at Lake View but to put off all work at Oak View, where asbestos removal and construction have not yet started.

The three closed campuses could reopen once the asbestos work has been completed although it is now unlikely the modernization work will go ahead.

If you have been diagnosed with asbestos a related disease, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Contact the Law Office of Brayton Purcell, LLP  at  (800) 598-0314 immediately, or contact us online for a free consultation.