While the North Kingstown School Committee has been busy chasing the money and digging a hole for itself, environmental engineers have also been busy digging holes.
Environmental studies at the proposed combined middle school site (current site of Davisville Middle) are ongoing. But already, investigators from PARE Corporation – contracted to do the ESA (Environmental Site Assessment) – have encountered items which must be addressed in a required Phase 2. Potential costs for their remediation are not factored into the so-called “plan.” These would likely be in the millions of dollars.
Therefore we still don’t have a confirmed site for the proposed combined middle school.
Bottom line: Further environmental studies to determine the feasibility and remediation needs of the proposed new middle school site will not be forthcoming and completed until AFTER the bond vote.
In case you can’t get through the 962 pages, here is the most important part (found on page 38):
“6.3 Conclusions & Recommendations Based on the results of this assessment, Pare is of the opinion that further environmental investigation of the Site is warranted to verify the presence of the identified RECs herein and to meet the obligations of the Rhode Island Industrial Property Remediation and Reuse Act (R.I.G.L Ch. 23-19.14, as amended by Bill S2277). Further environmental investigation should include the characterization of the soil, groundwater, and soil vapor conditions via sample collection and analysis. Due to the observed presence of solid waste debris on the site and an area of fill placement of unknown origin and quality, Pare recommends that the soil and groundwater conditions be characterized in advance of any construction activities to determine the nature and characteristics of any soil and groundwater to be disturbed or displaced such that the appropriate health and safety precautions and soil and groundwater procedures and related costs can be anticipated.“
In an email exchange with the School Department’s Michael Waterman on 9/21, he informed us that “Yes, there will be a Phase 2 ESA. That is usually scheduled after the submission and approval of the Stage 2 application. Once Stage 2 is complete there are additional items needed and the webpage will be updated as different studies are required and completed.” The Stage 2 submission is not due until February of 2024 – well after we are expected to approve the bond. (Note that other communities have already completed Phase 2 before putting bonds on ballots. But NK “don’t play that way.”