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Posted 2:40 pm
January 24, 2014

Science Building closed for spring semester


The Science Building is officially closed for the Spring 2014 semester. Photo by Rachel Aston / Xpress

The SF State community received notification yesterday that the Science Building, which had been quarantined since Jan. 10, would be closed for the full Spring 2014 semester due to the discovery of uncontained mercury, deteriorated lead based paint and asbestos above safe levels.

“This is a complex issue in a large building,” said SF State President Leslie E. Wong in an email to students. “At this point, many questions are still unanswered, but I am committed to sharing information and answers with you as they become available.”

Mercury vapors were discovered in several rooms during inspections that took place Dec. 23, 26 and 27, according to documents from Air and Water Sciences, the organization who conducted the testing.

However, the vapors were contained to only a few areas including sink drains and the floor of the basement, where the highest concentration was found.

Inspectors discovered deteriorated lead based paint in 35 of the building’s rooms, while also finding deteriorated lead containing paint in 50 rooms.

Thermal piping insulation tested positive for asbestos in several basement rooms and in several rooms on the first and second floors.

As of now, school officials are working to locate new classroom, office and laboratory space, according to Wong.

At this time it is unclear where  some classes will be held, but as they are shifted around the new locations will be entered into the online class schedule.