The delayed start of the school year in an eastern Iowa district has been pushed back even farther after the discovery of asbestos.

Due to a construction project, next Tuesday, September 6, had been set as the first day of school in North Linn district, but Superintendent Dave Hoeger says the construction disturbed asbestos in the high school building.

“We shut everything down, called the DNR and we worked last weekend to get things cleaned up, took some tests and they came back with higher than asbestos levels in that area,” Hoeger says, “which is around the high school office area.”

All classes are delayed, not just at the high school.

“In an effort to just to be safe, we continued working with the DNR this week and determined that let’s just clean the elementary and the middle school as well,” Hoeger says. “They said we don’t know if there’s anything in those areas or not, but let’s do our due diligence and get everything cleaned up, so that we don’t take tests down there and find out there is something and continue to delay.”

Asbestos removal crews are cleaning the buildings and Hoeger says more tests will be done next week.

“I can’t give a definite date as to when we are going to start school because we just need to get this cleaning done and get our tests back and take the next steps from there.”

The North Linn School District serves students in and around Coggin, Troy Mills and Walker.

(By Janelle Tucker, KMCH, Manchester)