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School district to test Huntfield soil

December 11, 2002|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County Superintendent of Schools R. Steven Nichols was given permission Tuesday to line up soil tests for a piece of the Huntfield property that developers have proposed giving to the school system for construction of a new school.

Jefferson County Board of Education member Doris Cline said the school system wants to do its own tests for possible contaminants on the site, which is south of Charles Town.

Residents have voiced concerns over whether the Huntfield land, which used to be an orchard, has pesticide residue on it.

Huntfield developers have conducted some soil testing at the property but the state School Building Authority requires further testing, Cline said.

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"We just want to do our due diligence," Board of Education President Lori Stilley said Tuesday.

The Board of Education gave Nichols the authority Tuesday morning to find a company to conduct a geological survey at the site, Stilley said.

The school board wants to have the soil tests completed while school officials and Huntfield officials are working on the contract that will result in the land being donated to the school system, Stilley said.

Greenvest L.C., the Vienna, Va., firm proposing the 3,300-home Huntfield development, has been working out a deal to donate about 60 acres of land to the school system for a new school.

School Board members said they plan to seek funding from the state School Building Authority to help pay for the $37.5 million project that includes building a second high school on the Huntfield property and renovating Jefferson High School.

The Board of Education received a $6 million grant last month from the state Economic Development Grant Committee to help build the second high school.

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