08/24/2012 08:54 EDT | Updated 10/24/2012 05:12 EDT

Asbestos clean up delays school opening

Students at John F. Kennedy High School in Montreal's Saint Michel borough will have to wait until next year before returning to their normal classrooms.

The school was shut down in the spring after asbestos was found. The school is now set to reopen on Jan. 7.

All of the students were transferred to nearby Rosemount High.

The English Montreal School Board said the clean up that was supposed to take place this summer is taking longer than expected and that the school will only be ready to reopen in January.

The school was supposed to reopen in time for back-to-school but had originally been postponed to November before being pushed back again to January.

The EMSB hopes to have all of the asbestos removed by the end of the year so students can return at the start of January. But after experiencing several delays already, some aren't confident the deadline will be met.

Johanne Froncioni, chair of the John F. Kennedy governing board, said the situation has affected enrolment.

"We have lost enrolment and, I mean, it's discouraging and disappointing that the kids are not going back in September. It is extremely disappointing but at this point, there is an end in sight," she said.

The school board said it took longer than expected to find a reasonable bid to clean up the asbestos.