GLOVERSVILLE — Gloversville Enlarged School District officials found evidence of tannery waste in the soil of the field at Kingsborough Elementary School, according to a media release Monday.
Gloversville Superintendent David Halloran said environmental tests of the field were conducted last month after the field’s surface became uneven, filled with water in places and started to smell of sulfur.
The Albany-based environmental testing firm Ambient Environmental Inc. excavated 17 test pit sites on the playing field west of the school building. Tannery waste was found in 10 of the sites.
The firm also took air tests throughout the dig but did not find that the air quality was compromised. Air quality tests within the school building also did not find compromised air quality.
The environmental testers returned the waste-tainted soil first and then backfilled with clean soil to limit surface exposure. Halloran said the district planned to limit access to that portion of the field as a precautionary measure, while the district determined a long-term solution.
“The Board of Education and I are committed to addressing this issue properly and safely and wish to do so in a manner that will allow unfettered use of the field for generations to come,” Halloran said in the release.
The Kingsborough field had previously been tested in the early 1990s, with that study determining tannery waste has been deposited on the site prior to the construction of the school in 1972. That report determined removal of the soil was not necessary and that the field was safe to use at that time so long as the soil was not disturbed in a major way.
The school board will hear a report on the findings and options to move forward at a meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. on Aug. 15 at the board meeting room in the lower level of the Gloversville Middle School.