SPOOF: Buley Library closed due to asbestos


Jene Thomas – General Assignment Reporter 

After a year of students at Southern Connecticut State University having to walk around dirt piles or avoid the sounds of construction while studying, the renovations of Hilton C. Buley Library have finished, welcoming students to the newly designed wing.

The newly opened doors, however, may be closed to students and faculty out of health concerns. As of April 1, the newly renovated section of Buley library will be closed until further notice.

“After speaking with our contractors,” President Mary A. Papazian said, “it has become apparent that the insulation that runs throughout the building contains traces of asbestos. We are doing our best to get rid of it, but in the meantime, we are urging students and non-essential faculty members to refrain from entering the new sections of the library until told otherwise from school officials.”

The Granoff Hall Student Health Center insists the Southern community heed the warning and avoid the new section of the building due to the hazardous effects asbestos has on the human body. This group of minerals that naturally build up in bundles of fiber was used in construction and insulation due to its fire-resistant characteristic until the 1970s where it was determined that inhaling too much of it affected the body.

The fibers may sound harmless but overexposure can lead to serious health complications such as, the increased likelihood of lung cancer, mesothelioma and other cancers, according to the National Institute of Health.

“My grandpa died from asbestos poisoning so if the administration believes we should stay out of the library, I’m going to take them seriously,” said pre-nursing sophomore Nick Wallis.

As renovations came to an end, the school hired local contractors to perform safety examinations on the new part of the library. Everything seemed normal until the health center began getting multiple visits from students complaining of a bad cough. After several tests, Diane Johnson, a nurse practitioner in the health center found that these students all had asbestos in their lungs. They all had recently visited the new sections of the library.

“When they call came in complaining about the same bad cough, I knew something was wrong,” Johnson said.

As construction finished, SCSU ordered a health and safety test of the library before deeming it open. When Carlos Ventura and his team from the CT Department of Public Works came to do the testing, all seemed well. Upon hearing from the health center about the asbestos cases, Papazian ordered another inspection.

When Ventura returned to the scene, he went down to the lower level, saw a tile in the ceiling loose and removed it. With a health mask on, he inspected the area and found the asbestos in that section. More inspectors are scheduled to come in early April to thoroughly inspect the rest of the library.

The inspection team said they apologize from their overlook and will work to fix the mistake.

“I bet the school doesn’t even have an asbestos problem,” Vanessa Miller, a senior marketing major said. “The school just took all of our tuition money and said it was for the library. They were never planning on opening it, which is why we’ll have a tuition increase.”

It hasn’t become clear yet as to whether the asbestos can be inhaled in the other parts of the library. Anyone who believes they may have come in contact with asbestos are encouraged to visit the health center, located on Wintergreen Ave.

“The safety and wellness of our students is Southern’s number one concern at the moment and we are doing everything we can to resolve this,” Papazian said at a public address.

Photo Credit: Derek Torrellas

This article was written for the April Fool’s Day issue. All information and sources are fictional. 

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