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Work In Progress Construction updates.

Chaucey Work in Progress
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  • » Wheelwright Auditorium closed for asbestos removal

    Wheelwright Auditorium at Coastal Carolina University has been closed until further notice. Effective immediately, all events will be moved to a different facility or venue, or will be canceled. Questions about specific events scheduled at Wheelwright in the near future should be directed to the individual party responsible for the specific event.

    On April 9, CCU received a report from Summit Engineering, Laboratory and Testing notifying the University that a low concentration of asbestos fibers was present on the stage at Wheelwright, but air quality levels remained below what is permissible by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. However, the Administration decided to proceed with immediate remediation based on the recommendation of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) at CCU.

    During an annual operational test of the fire curtain in the auditorium conducted on March 7 by Productions Limited Inc., it was recommended on March 8 that the curtain be tested for asbestos due to the age of the curtain. Wheelwright Auditorium was completed in 1981.

    EHS worked with Summit Engineering, Laboratory and Testing to conduct an asbestos test on the fire curtain on March 14. Results from that test were received on March 17 and revealed a low concentration of asbestos within the materials of the curtain.

    Upon receiving these results, an additional test was immediately requested by EHS and performed by Summit on the stage area on March 26. That test involved lowering the fire curtain twice, then wipe-sampling the stage and taking air quality measurements. Those results were received April 9 and were positive for a low concentration of asbestos fibers on the stage, but air quality levels remained below what is permissible by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration.

    A fire curtain is a safety device used in large proscenium theaters that is only lowered in case of fire or for operational testing. Due to the infrequent use of the fire curtain and its location, the asbestos risk remains low; however, measures are being taken by the University to quickly and effectively address the concern.

    Wheelwright Auditorium was closed by administration upon receiving notification from EHS about the test results, and event staff are working with parties to reschedule and move planned events. The process is underway to safely replace the fire curtain as soon as possible.