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Dartmouth school temporarily closes after asbestos detected

Students were sent home early from Bicentennial School in Dartmouth, N.S., on Thursday. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press - image credit)
Students were sent home early from Bicentennial School in Dartmouth, N.S., on Thursday. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press - image credit)

The Halifax Regional Centre for Education has temporarily closed Bicentennial School in Dartmouth, N.S., after "higher than acceptable levels" of asbestos were found in two classrooms under construction.

In a notice to parents Thursday, the centre said students were being sent home early after scheduled testing detected the toxic material.

The asbestos was found in two out of three classrooms that are under construction in the school, which has students from pre-primary to Grade 9.

"I recognize that receiving this information is concerning. I want to assure you that the safety and well-being of students and staff is our highest priority," Steve Gallagher, the centre's executive director, said in the notice.

Gallagher said students haven't had access to the rooms where asbestos was detected since Nov. 25. Construction began three days later.

The notice said the school would remain closed on Friday.

Gallagher said the school has ordered testing for the entire school, which will also be cleaned. Testing will also be conducted after the school has been cleaned.

He said parents can expect an update from the school's principal by Sunday.

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