Hazardous materials found at site Carson City School District may buy | NevadaAppeal.com

Hazardous materials found at site Carson City School District may buy

Jessica Garcia
Carson City School District Superintendent Richard Stokes toured the former Capital Christian Center with a citizen committee on Sept. 11 and demonstrated a southeast view of the property facing the Northern Nevada Correctional Center. The school district recently received results back on its environmental study that showed hazardous amounts exist in the southeast corner of the property.
Jessica Garcia/Nevada Appeal

Evidence shows some hazardous materials and petroleum products might have entered the environment at 1600 Snyder Ave., the property under consideration for purchase by the Carson City School District. District officials will be following recommendations for a phase two study of the site to evaluate the potential for groundwater impacts as they continue exploring the viability of the site.

Superintendent Richard Stokes updated trustees on Tuesday at its regular board meeting that the district had received results from its phase one environmental study indicating the property was used as a dump in the 1940s and was grounds to hazardous products. Materials included lead that exists in a concentration that exceeds the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s preliminary remediation goal.

Previous phase one and phase two studies, according to staff reports, showed possible lead exposure at the Snyder property might only come from breathing or ingesting dust from the landfill.

“In talking about doing any construction, it was suggested, ‘You’ve got to keep dust down by putting water on it,’” Stokes told the board.

Recommendations from engineering firm Converse Consultants of Reno included conducting a phase two site assessment to determine the origin of methane and to gather core samples.

An asphalt cap also would mitigate lead from leaking into the air and contain it in place in the southeast corridor of the property where it has been identified.

The results were derived from a phase one study, but a phase two study has been recommended, and Stokes said that provides the district with “an additional measure of comfort” to determine whether the groundwater on site has been contaminated.

“This wasn’t a negative to the seller based on a communication that we received,” Stokes reported. “They know we’re very interested in the property.”

Stokes told the Appeal despite the findings of hazardous materials primarily at the southeast corner of the property, the district would request random samples from the entire location since no other major studies have been completed since the current buildings originally were constructed.

“It’s part of the due diligence, not only for our trustees, but for our community,” Stokes said. “We’re going to have kids out there. They’re going to want to be assured that it’s safe. It’s important.”

The district, however, still has not received its appraisal, the other condition of the revised letter of intent signed in August, but Stokes said the property’s seller remains interested in working with the district. Carson City’s original 90-day feasibility period has passed and is now in its second 90-day study to figure out if it wants to buy the Snyder property. Discussions have continued and Stokes told the Appeal Wednesday that keeping dialogue open has been favorable for both parties.

“The seller believes the school district would be a good person to actually buy the property,” Stokes said.

Stokes told the board Tuesday he would continue to update the board as the conversation progresses in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, the former Capital Christian church land has presented an opportunity for Carson City charter school Carson Montessori, which, in early October, had announced an interest in collaborating with the district’s community group and supporting plans to use Snyder’s main sanctuary as a performing arts center.

Montessori principal Jessica Daniels told the Appeal that the Carson City School District has maintained a positive working relationship with Carson Montessori as its sponsor throughout the years.

“It is a very positive, productive sponsorship that puts the children of Carson City and education first,” Daniels said in an e-mail to the Appeal.

She said a performing arts center previously was planned when a “new” Carson High School was built, adding “it never came to fruition.”

Montessori would like to use Snyder on a lease basis, Daniels told the Appeal, “…we don’t need many of the classroom amenities that a traditional site needs. We could occupy the site as soon as the necessary permit-required code-improvements have been completed and then share the costs for the district-planned renovations.”