Parents, commissioners concerned new school will be built - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Parents, commissioners concerned new school will be built on contaminated site

Posted: Updated:
They claim the ground is contaminated. The school board knew about it and went ahead with plans anyway. They claim the ground is contaminated. The school board knew about it and went ahead with plans anyway.

(WMC-TV) - Safety and money are top of mind for parents and Fayette County Commissioners worried about where a new elementary school will soon be under construction.

They claim the ground is contaminated. The school board knew about it and went ahead with plans anyway.

A Fayette County Commissioner says the school board should have listened to hired consultant who advised them to build on the west side of town along U.S. Route 64.

"You couldn't give me enough assurance to put my grandchildren on that site to play," said commissioner Terry Leggett.

Heavy machinery is working to dig up what officials say is the last of the asbestos-contaminated soil where Buckley-Carpenter Elementary school will be built in Somerville.

Parent Debra Morrow said there were hoards of children who participated in after-school programs in the old buildings that have been torn down.

"You see black stuff on the walls you wonder what it is. It looks like mold, but you know it's something else," said Morrow.

Leggett says the school board chose the site to fulfill a federal court order to build a new elementary school. Since the district owns the land they chose to build there.

"There were people who stood up a year ago when they were choosing a site that told them that there was contamination on that site, and they disregarded that information," he said.

Leggett says this has turned into a huge expense and delay for building the school. He said the commission originally budgeted only $20,000 for cleanup of the three buildings that were demolished on the campus.

"The latest figure the county commission has been given was probably 1.2 million," said Leggett.

Leggett says another cell was recently found as late as a week or two ago on the land.

Mayor Skip Taylor reportedly told residents that the workers were taking every precaution in the excavation.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow