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Neighbors of Kane County

The Jank Guitar Store to seek new location due to asbestos found in building

Apr 10, 2018 10:10AM

St. Charles– After nearly three years at 217 W. Main Street, The Jank Guitar Store has closed its storefront and is seeking a new location. The change of venue is the result of asbestos uncovered during recent renovations.

During the month of August The Jank Guitar Store began renovations to its existing space. Asbestos analysis performed by Environmental Consulting Group, Inc. (an NVLAP accredited laboratory for asbestos fiber analysis) revealed the presence of asbestos at multiple locations within the store's flooring, bringing renovations to a halt.

According to the report provided by Environmental Consulting Group, “the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines asbestos-containing materials as those materials containing greater than 1% asbestos by weight.” The analysis found that green floor tiles in the building contained 5% asbestos.

Thorough inquiry into the property's safety was completed when The Jank Guitar Store took occupancy of the space in 2015. The Jank Guitar Store administrators specifically inquired about whether asbestos was present in the building, and were told directly and specifically by landlords that it was asbestos-free. The Jank Guitar Store learned of the asbestos when a third party did inspections before planned flooring renovations were completed. While the landlord has been supportive of planned renovations, they denied the presence of asbestos in the building and directly refused the procedures to properly remove or contain the asbestos-containing materials.

The use of asbestos was common in buildings constructed before the mid-1970s. Damage over time, renovation, and construction activities can trigger the release of asbestos fibers into the air, which can be inhaled by building occupants. The National Institutes of Health states that the overall evidence suggests there is no safe level of asbestos exposure. The Environmental Protection Agency requires school systems to inspect buildings for the presence of damaged asbestos and, if found, to remove or encase it.

The Jank Guitar Store - a provider of musical education for children and teens - requires the same best practices in environmental safety required of schools in its own facility. An asbestos-free building is a necessity for The Jank Guitar Store.

As tenants The Jank Guitar Store cannot complete the removal of asbestos, leaving the business with the choice of incurring unforeseen costs of containment procedures typically incurred by property owners, conducting business in a building with known health risk factors, or relocating.

A series of delinquent maintenance issues combined with the refusal of landlords to uphold asbestos safety standards has lead to a fundamental disagreement between The Jank Guitar Store and property owners, and caused The Jank Guitar Store to terminate its lease and close its Main Street location.

"The health and safety of our students and staff is the absolute highest priority," said Jay Scott Corbin de Baschemin, owner of The Jank Guitar Store. "This location was very dear to us because of its history as St. Charles Guitar. Sadly, the environmental danger that's been brought to light necessitates immediate relocation. We look forward to finding a new location that meets the highest standards of environmental safety."

In light of the recent findings, The Jank Guitar Store is seeking a new location. During the transition The Jank Guitar Store is continuing to provide lessons via PPR Online (the company’s online learning system) by request to students in the Tri-Cities, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Sydney, Reykjavik, and London.