Test results still pending for new high school

Posted at 11:07 PM, Jul 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-05 23:07:24-04

Soil samples still haven't come back yet for a proposed high school in Bonita Springs.

The Lee County School District approved the $11 million purchase of a 76 acres of land at the corner of Imperial Parkway and Shangrila Road. The site has come under fire because there had been traces of diesel fuel and asbestos found there.

A map released by the district shows soil samples were taken in 12 different grids.

"The only problem I see with this diagram is they took 6 inches down, and the very most in a few places, they may have gone down one foot," said Chris Quackenbush, a school board candidate in Lee County.

Quackenbush has been critical of the project's location. She says with soil being turned over so many times over the years, it may be hard to find any diesel fuel or asbestos at the site.

She's terrified at the thought of what would happen if they did find some.

"I'm concerned with the construction workers, I'm concerned with when they are uncovering this, will it spread to the neighborhoods nearby, and if any residuals are left over, how about the children?"

After the school board approved the site last week, Superintendent Gregory Adkins said construction could still move forward even if contamination is found, but he doubts that will happen.

"I've talked to people who have been at the site, they have been all over the site, and I'm confident that they are not going to find anything there," Adkins said last week.

But with this much doubt, and a 70 million dollar price tag for the entire project, Quackenbush says it's time to move on.

"The school board should absolutely move onto another site. This site is fraught with problems."

The school district says the Imperial Parkway site is the best location for a new high school because overcrowding in the southern part of the district is a major problem.

they are already looking at putting portables at Estero and Ft. Myers High School to deal with it until the new school is built.