JACKSON COUNTY-- A Jackson County school is facing a serious problem.
Before workers can renovate the 60 year old cafeteria at Sneads High School they have to remove a major health threat: the cafeteria contains asbestos.
Jackson School District officials are excited about the plans for the Sneads High School cafeteria.
"We will go out on the end and take the wall down and add into the eating area. Make it larger. Then on the back side of it we will have an outside eating area," Jackson County Superintendent Steven Benton said.
But before workers begin making the cafeteria newer and larger, they have to get rid of a reminder of it's past.
"In these old building, they have the uhh---in the old times it was just built with asbestos. And so once the wall is taken down the asbestos has to be removed from it."
Monday night, school board members approved a bid from an abatement contractor to remove the asbestos. The asbestos removal is expected to last about two weeks. The actual renovation project should be completed by November.
Until then Sneads students will eat in the gymnasium.
"The meals will more than likely be prepared there at the elementary school, then satellite over to the high school."
The project will cost an estimated $850,000, including $17,000 for the asbestos removal.
"The kitchen area was not part of the renovations project. And so once we found out asbestos was in there and the bid price coming in as it was, we felt like it was feasible to go ahead and try to do it all at one time," School Board member Chris Johnson said.
The school district is funding the project with money from the half cent sales tax, and with money from food service provider Sodexo.