On Sunday evening, staffers at NBC’s Washington, D.C., headquarters on Nebraska Avenue received an ominous warning from management about the work under way on the building—namely, that workers had recently discovered asbestos contamination on the first floor of the facilities.
Last week, The Observer first reported that NBC executives were considering the possibility of leasing out part of the building to outside organizations (including, possibly, American University) to pay for some much needed upgrades to the aging facilities.
According to one source, the area where the asbestos contamination was found until recently housed the likes of Chuck Todd, Lisa Myers, the WRC sports crew and the central interview room, where NBC staffers had conducted thousands of interviews over the years. It’s also the area where WRC’s revamped newsroom will be located in the future.
More from the email to staffers:
Please be advised that we have discovered that glue on the back of baseboard material in the first floor across the back of the buildings has been found to contain asbestos (the areas formerly known as South Beach, Sports, Graphics/Directors). We are planning for the removal of the baseboards and although this is not the form of asbestos that usually become airborne and breathable, we are taking every safety precaution. We have hired a contractor to handle the removal.
Here is what you will see going on in the area beginning Tuesday, May 5th
* The room containing the contaminated glue will be sealed with a containment unit.
* Negative air pressure is created in the containment to reduce the risk of any material becoming airborne.
* Air monitoring is being done outside of the containments to insure that there are no airborne fibers.