Allentown Schools Struggle to Pay for Lead and Asbestos Cleanup

Written by on February 10, 2020

Allentown schools struggle to pay for lead and asbestos cleanup

By Chloe Nouvelle

February 10, 2020

Photo | Chloe Nouvelle / WLVR

Governor Tom Wolf wants to spend $1 billion to fix Pennsylvania’s “toxic” school buildings.

As WLVR’s Chloe Nouvelle reports, officials at Allentown School District say they need help.

The Allentown School District has nine school buildings that are over 100 years old. The city’s Harrison Morton Middle School is much older- it was built in 1874.

Allentown School District Facilities Director Tom Smith says the hazards here..from floor to ceiling…are things like lead paint and asbestos.

“The board of directors commissioned a feasibility study of all of our school buildings. At the end of our assessment. It was concluded that this school district had $350 worth of deficiencies,” said Smith.

$350 million is Allentown’s entire operating budget for this year. Currently, the district is only able to allocate $4 million to make these repairs.

It’s unclear if the general assembly will sign off on the Governor’s plan, or how much Allentown might see if the initiative is adopted

Watch Chloe Nouvelle’s full PBS39 News Tonight Report.


Current track