Asbestos being removed from Algonquin ahead of demolition

The asbestos isn’t harmful as long as it’s properly maintained.


Algonquin is being torn down, but before FAU can start, they have to remove asbestos that will become hazardous. Photo by Alex Liscio

Cameren Boatner, Editor in Chief

Before Algonquin can be demolished, the removal team will get rid of the building’s asbestos, a mineral that can cause lung cancer. Though it wasn’t dangerous with residents living there, FAU posted signs and caution tape warning of asbestos outside an entrance once the building was vacated.

The Florida Department of Health is the agency responsible for overseeing the regulations during the asbestos removal, and according to Director of Communications Alexander Shaw, FAU has met compliance during their inspection.

Building materials containing asbestos, called ACBM, don’t always become dangerous until destruction of a building begins, according to FAU Director of Environmental Health and Safety Wendy Ash Graves. Graves says as long as you keep the ACBM maintained in good condition, it isn’t hazardous.

Still, only contractors trained to remove asbestos are permitted in Algonquin during the phase before destruction.

“The warning sign on the outside of the containment barrier is required by Federal Law outlining all requirements for asbestos remediation ensuring that only authorized personnel with specialized training enter the barrier,” Graves said via email.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, most ACBM in schools are in the flooring, vinyl base, roofing material, gaskets in air-conditioning, and cement pipes.

Graves said “very few” other FAU buildings contain asbestos. In 1990, FAU stopped using ACBM in all new construction projects, Graves said. She said that the policy against ACBM has resulted in the “nearly full elimination” of asbestos on campus. The UP has asked to clarify the buildings that contain asbestos, but has not heard back as of publication time.

According to the New Boca Raton Residence Hall website, construction will begin in Fall 2019.

Mourning Algonquin

Former students and Algonquin Hall residents took to Facebook to tell the UP about their favorite memories, and to say goodbye to their beloved dorm.

Some former students have fond memories of the dorm.

Ryan McNally, a former resident assistant at Algonquin, tells one of his fondest memories.
Kendall Everly was a loyal Algonquin resident. She didn’t leave for over two years.

Some former students were sad to say goodbye to Algonquin.

And others … weren’t as sad.


Cameren Boatner is the editor in chief of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected].