Racine City Hall reopens following concerns over asbestos

RACINE (WITI) -- Racine City Hall reopened on Wednesday, February 26th after being forced to close Tuesday, February 25th over concern of asbestos dust.

Officials with Racine City Hall said on Wednesday that results of air quality testing came back negative, and that all employees should report to work at their normal shift time.

Racine City Hall was closed on Tuesday due to the possibility that some asbestos dust from work performed on Monday escaped a containment area.

"We actually had to do an air sample, and that sample had to be collected. We did that overnight. We sent it down to Chicago to a lab. They did the testing, and that's the only way to know if you have asbestos in the air," Racine City Administrator Thomas Friedel said.

"Might have been carried throughout the building through the air system. I think with a building that's 90 years old, there are always going to be some surprises," Racine Building Inspector Kenneth Plaski said.

In an abundance of caution and concern for the health and safety of City employees and City Hall visitors, Mayor John Dickert decided to close City Hall until results of testing were available.

Portions of the third floor of Racine City Hall are undergoing renovation. That renovation includes floor tiles with asbestos glue being lifted off. Racine Mayor John Dickert says the glue was being sanded from the floor. But the sealed off area was not secure enough — and initial testing by the health department showed some asbestos leaked out.

Additional testing was done of Racine City Hall's air duct systems on Wednesday afternoon, and test results came back negative around noon on Wednesday.