2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 10 Jul 2003 15:36:47 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] The Columbus Dispatch
The following was posted by Jodi Griffith <ppsi@gte.net>

I noticed that you had today's article from Ohio News Network posted,
but this article adds a few interesting details.  How is it that this
piece of property will not be suitable as a school site AFTER the Army
Corps finishes its clean-up, yet it was used as a school from 1962 until
June of this year?  The Army sold this piece of property to the River
Valley School District while the property was still in use as a military
waste dump for the former Marion Engineer Depot.  Children attended
school there for the past 41 years. The Army Corps of Engineers and Ohio
EPA have been aware of the extreme contamination issues on
this property for years, yet acted surprised 6 years ago when a leukemia
cluster at the school forced these agencies to begin an environmental
investigation. As a member of the Marion Engineer Depot/Scioto Ordnance
Plant RAB, I'm sorry to say that we're one more community where the RAB
has been much, much less than valuable or effective. It seems that many
communities share our horror stories of information being withheld,
former MED employees not being interviewed, etc.  In fact, I was
surprised to see how the script seems to be so similar at sites across
the country.

Jodi Griffith


District officials want to auction two old buildings
River Valley schools may be tough sell
Wednesday, July 09, 2003
Romando Dixson

River Valley school officials say they hope to auction the district’s
middle and high schools because they do not have any money to demolish

A real-estate broker said that might be a tough sell, considering the
Marion County site— a former military depot — was the center of years of
debate over unusually high cancer rates among graduates.

Students in the district east of Marion are scheduled to move into new
buildings in August.

"It might be attractive to a prospective buyer to further develop a site
utilizing the existing buildings," said Superintendent Tom Shade. "Now,
that may not be, but that was the thinking at the time."

The site is slated for cleaning to industrial and commercial standards
early next year, Shade said. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is
responsible for cleanup.

Eventually the district plans to demolish its three aging and
overcrowded elementary buildings. First though, the school board expects
to vote Thursday to approve a contract with a company to remove asbestos
from the schools. No decision has been made about what to do with that

The middle and high schools were built about 40 years ago on the grounds
of a former military depot, where chemical waste had  been dumped for
years. The Ohio Department of Health reported no link between the
leukemia cases and the contamination. Still, federal lawmakers pushed
for Defense Department funds to help  rebuild the district. In the end,
the department, the state and local property taxes paid for the $43
million project.

The negative publicity surrounding the middle and high schools might
dampen demand for the 78-acre campus, said Ilan Kibbey, a partner with
Kibbey Development in Marion. Someone, however, might bid if the site
seems like a bargain.

Shade said there will be an undetermined minimum bid.

The type of cleanup planned by the corps precludes residential uses for
the site, including hospitals, schools and day-care centers, he said.

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