550 San Diego city workers relocated due to asbestos

Posted at 12:13 PM, Jan 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-31 22:16:16-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Hundreds of City of San Diego employees were relocated Friday because of a positive asbestos test in their downtown building. 

City officials asked 550 employees to leave the Executive Complex building, located at 1010 Second Avenue, until further notice.

The building was being remodeled until construction debris tested positive for asbestos. Continued inspections are underway to prevent further contamination, city officials said.

Ron Villa, Deputy Chief Operating Officer for the City, said:

“The City is working with the building owner to protect the interests of our employees and taxpayers as we shift operations elsewhere. We are working to ensure this does not affect our service to residents and other customers. We appreciate the flexibility of our employees and expect full continuity of our operations without impact to our core services.”

As the City arranges alternative work sites, employees have been relocated to the adjacent City Administration Building, located at 202 C St. Remaining employees are telecommuting.

City operations are not expected to be impacted.

One of the King Chavez Community High Schools is located on the second floor of the building. A school spokesperson issued a statement.

" The health and welfare of our students and staff continues always to be our highest priority. Yes, we operate one of the campuses of the King-Chavez Community High School at the 1010 Avenue building and have the 2nd floor.  The new company who purchased the building is doing extensive renovation to this older 21 story building but is bypassing our 2nd-floor tenancy because we have opted to exercise our lease extension. In 2011 we did extensive tenant improvements to the 2nd floor which included asbestos abatement.  This was done under City of San Diego permit and inspection by professional abatement experts. We did close classes on Monday until we could be reassured that outside debris had been cleaned and removed.  Monitors have been checking the quality of the air in our 2nd-floor suite since February 27th. as a precautionary measure.  Onsite inspectors are present at the building."

The spokesperson told 10News classes resumed on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for the owner, Tower 180 LLC, tells 10News everything has followed consistent EPA regulations and all been taken care of. 

“The building has always been habitable. Its met all EPA regulations and never been shut down.  There is no ongoing issue.”