Parents concerned about location of Holly Shelter Middle School

Reported by Casey Roman - email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The New Hanover County school board will address parent concern over school redistricting and a nearby superfund site during their meeting Tuesday night.

Some parents from Castle Hayne say they are worried the site of an old chemical company is too close to the new Holly Shelter Middle School.  The school is located about 700 feet from what the EPA has labeled a "superfund site."

Click here for more EPA reports on the superfund site

In 2002 the EPA found soil and water at the Reasor Chemical site contaminated, but after treatment the property was given the "okay" by the EPA in 2007.

The next year, New Hanover County schools bought a nearby lot for the middle school.  Parents of students who attend the new school say they were never told about the prior contamination and think the school only bought the land because it was cheaper.  But the school board said that's not the case.

"The land is good and it met the needs that the district needed as far as water, sewer, road, infrastructure and anticipated growth in that area of the county," said Valita Quattlebaum with New Hanover County schools.  "$2.3 million for 60 acres -  that's not cheap, that's the going market rate."

The New Hanover County school board said the school's property is not toxic.  According to the school board there's no reason for concern.

"The EPA in 2007 gave the land the all clear and they worked closely with the owner to make sure everything was cleared," said Quattlebaum. "New Hanover County schools has information from the EPA that this site was good. New Hanover County schools would not have chosen to build a school there if they had gotten information otherwise."

The school board meeting will begin Tuesday night at 6:30 in the Spencer Building on 15th Street.

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