A SPECIALIST contractor advised Caerphilly council to look at demolishing Cwmcarn High School after asbestos concerns led to the school’s closure last week.

The council said the contractor advised closing the school immediately on October 12 because of the “continued risk of exposure to asbestos fibres”.

It also advised the council to consider demolishing Cwmcarn High School because of the costs of continuing to operate without further risk of exposure.

The council admitted the school had been exposed to asbestos fibres and said it decided to close the school last week so it could assess and reduce any possible further exposure.

Cwmcarn Leisure Centre, which is connected to the school, has also been closed as a precaution while investigations are carried out.

The council said asbestos is present in the whole of Cwmcarn High School apart from the music and drama block C and the languages wing.

It said the majority of the asbestos is “sealed and in good condition” but that some debris was discovered in voids and some asbestos was unsealed or damaged.

The council said the main type of asbestos in the school contains Amosite which is commonly known as ‘brown’ asbestos which “poses a greater risk than other types of asbestos”.

But the council said the health risk from potential exposure to pupils and staff at the school is “low, albeit slightly elevated”.

Asbestos surveys have been carried out at the school since 2003 with regulations requiring visual surveys but not ceiling and roof voids.

Legal requirements for asbestos surveying increased in 2006 and again this year leading to more detailed surveys now being required.

Caerphilly council said it expects the affected buildings at Cwmcarn High to be closed “for the foreseeable future”.