Site chosen for new school in Soundview sparks environmental concerns

Residents are continuing to protest the site chosen to be the location for a new school in Soundview.

Construction is already underway to turn a former aviation electronic manufacturing plant into a school. Residents say they don't see additional classroom space, but instead see danger. Etta Henry is just one of many concerned residents. She is worried chemicals once used at the plant are still in the soil and may be harmful to the kids expected to fill the building come September. Other concerns include two abandoned warehouses and the Bronx River, which are both nearby.

Michelle Cahill, of the Department of Education, says the department is not going to put up any school unless it is convinced with real evidence that it is safe. The School Construction Authority approved the project. And an environmental group hired by the city also said the site is safe. The group did find elevated levels of lead, mercury and zinc but insists that since those areas will be covered with asphalt the chemicals cannot harm the children.

Still, residents feel the evaluation is tainted and they are calling for an independent contractor to test the ground.

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