Menominee Mich. students could return to high school next week

Students have been in virtual learning all year after the discovery of asbestos
Published: Jan. 10, 2023 at 7:54 PM EST
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MENOMINEE, Mich. (WBAY) - High school students in the Menominee, Michigan, school district are still not back in their classrooms after months of virtual learning.

Last summer, the second floor of the building flooded during construction. At that point, workers discovered the ceiling tiles contained asbestos. An environmental team then suggested all of the tiles on the second floor needed to be replaced. That job has taken months, seeing several setbacks.

The most recent letter sent to families, dated December 29, says school officials are seeing “some light at the end of the tunnel.” The message says high school students could return to classrooms next week, following the Martin Luther King holiday.

”I get the frustration, and I understand the frustration, but I hope everybody realizes that we’re doing everything that we possibly can. There wasn’t a situation that anybody caused. It’s just where we’re at,” Superintendent Richard Sarau told us.

“We’re doing everything that we possibly can,” Sarau continued, “and our number one goal, right, is the safety of the kids, and the staff that are going to go back into that building, and get it open as soon as possible. So, as soon as it’s safe.”

The school board has a Committee of the Whole meeting Wednesday night in the Blesch Intermediate School library. The agenda includes action on finance options for the asbestos cleanup, while an update on the high school is listed as a non-action item. There will be a public comment period for the agenda items.

Action 2 News has a crew at that meeting, and we’ll have a full report on Action 2 News at 10.

Students have been in virtual learning for months after the discovery of asbestos last summer