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Waynesboro school board mulls options for debris removal

August 09, 2011|By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — The Waynesboro Area School Board is trying to find the "lesser of two evils" as it aims to remove a large pile of debris between its high school and middle school.

The removal of the debris, which is left over from the high school's expansion and renovation between 2007 and 2010, is expected to be costly, according to Dwight Needham, the district's maintenance supervisor.

"It's not a good situation any way you look at it," board President Edward Wilson said at the board's meeting on Tuesday night.

After getting the opinion of several area contractors, the board identified two options to move forward with the removal of the debris, which consists of dirt, large boulders, and miscellaneous concrete and steel:

  • Hire an engineer to come in and survey the pile to decide how much needs to be removed
  • Pay a contractor to level off the pile prior to the survey and then determine the cost to haul away the material

"Because of the way it's all piled up, there's no way to get an accurate measurement on top of spending on a surveyor," said Wilson, who estimated it would cost about $5,000 to level off the pile to determine the cubic feet needed to remove.

The cost of hiring an engineer would likely be more without leveling the area because it would be more difficult to determine how much debris is actually there, Wilson said.

"The lesser of the two evils would be to level it out," he said. "We do have stone (to cover the area after it's leveled). Another possibility would be — we could slope the banks and make another athletic field out of it."

School administrators previously decided they would rather see an athletic field in the space than a parking lot.

However, sinkholes could become a problem if the board chose to go that route and grow grass atop the debris, Wilson said, who noted that covering it in stone would help the pile settle, control runoff into the nearby Antietam Creek and reduce the risk of the sinkholes.

"There's no way of compacting it because of the size of what's in there," Wilson said. "There's just not an easy way around this thing."

Removal of the debris was not in the district's high school renovation bid specifications because it was to be used by Washington Township officials for the construction of a new roadway, board members said.

The board, which took no formal action, asked Needham to get cost estimates from engineers and surveyors before the next board meeting.

"Let's just see what (the cost) is," board member Chris Lind said.

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