Fayette Co. School Being Built On Contaminated Waste Site

People are outraged an elementary school is being built on a site contaminated with asbestos.

“I don’t think they share my concerns for possible health ramifications,” Fayette County Commissioner Terry Leggett said.

Leggett is begging the school board to reconsider.

It’s building the new elementary school near downtown Somerville — the same place a high school was demolished and buried 30 years ago.

“When they demolished the school, they simply buried the school with all the contaminants in the school. Lead-based paint, asbestos and all of that into the ground and covered it up,” said Leggett.

The school board admits the ground is contaminated.

Chairman James Garrett said contractors discovered it after they started the project.

The clean-up was supposed to cost $20,000. Now, it’s costing more than a million.

“I do know it’s costing $1.2 million, so there is obviously a problem,” said County Commissioner Sissy Dowdle.

No word on how long the clean up will take, and when the more than $12 million school will be finished.

The school board wants to make sure the land is “100 percent clean and 100 percent safe,” and state and federal environmental agencies sign off on it.

Leggett is afraid the school board’s decision will later haunt them.

“I certainly hope that in the years to come, we don’t have a group of children that were students at the school or employees at the school that come down with some kind of ailment,” said Leggett.

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