Air Testing at Larcom During Construction

City hall to be closed over weekend; AAPD in mobile unit on north parking lot
asbestos pump

Receptacle for sample collection affixed to air pump.

On Tuesday night, heading to the planning commission working session, we headed into the Larcom Building through the newly constructed side entrance off Ann Street. That’s the door that will be used for the next couple of years as construction activities on the new municipal building take place.

We noticed a guy standing at the table in the lobby next to the table with all the full-sized planning drawings for projects under current review. But it wasn’t the guy so much as his very science-guy gadgets that we noticed: microscope, slides, vials … and a black box with a thin plunger-like mechanism sticking out of it.

What was he up to?

A quick chat revealed that he worked for  EKS Services Inc., which had been contracted to monitor the air in preparation for asbestos abatement work on the west end of the promenade deck of the building.

On Thursday evening, we were back at Larcom for the historic district commission meeting – it was the same scene as Tuesday. This time we had a camera along, and we had time for a chat that was a little more detailed. The work to begin the asbestos removal began Wednesday night.

asbestos pump

The accumulated sample from the vial got smeared on a slide and inserted into the black box with the plunger-type gadget for analysis.

Our air-monitoring guy was analyzing samples from two different sources: (i) eye-dropper-sized vials attached to pumps worn by workers doing the asbestos abatement work – with intakes on their lapels, as close as possible to their face masks, and (ii) the same kind of vial attached to a fixed stand located directly across from the police desk.

He wasn’t nearly finished analyzing all the samples, but so far, so good.

An email sent to city hall staff explained that due to the asbestos abatement, followed closely by the removal of the overhang on the western side of the building, the building  will be closed starting Friday, March 13 at 7 p.m. through late afternoon on  Saturday, March 14. It will then be closed again on Sunday, March 15.

Members of the public looking for the Ann Arbor Police Department front desk during times when the building is closed can find it operating from a mobile command unit in the north parking lot.

asbestos pump

Pump affixed to receptacle to the right of the trash can.