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Greenwich Daily Voice serves Greenwich, CT

Another Athletic Field Opens at Greenwich High

GREENWICH, Conn. – Artificial turf field 6 at Greenwich High School opened Sunday following remediation of contaminated soil, but with a catch. Anyone wishing to use the field will need adult supervision to assure that access to field 7 is restricted, the school district announced.

Since Cardinal Stadium reopened in mid-September, field 6 is the only other athletic field at the high school to be cleared for use by the state.

During early summer excavation on parking lots for the school’s auditorium project, workers discovered soil that was darker than dirt found in July during work on the school’s West Lot. The find prompted immediate environmental testing, and all work was stopped and the area covered and closed off.

Testing in surrounding areas revealed low levels of lead, arsenic, barium, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and petroleum hydrocarbons. The athletic fields were closed, forcing high school athletic teams to practice on middle school and elementary school fields.

The town Department of Public Works is overseeing soil remediation and long-term environmental studies for the project, according to the school district. For now, the work focuses on removing soil, fencing off areas of contamination and getting more of the fields opened. Here is the status of remaining fields:

? 6 and 7: Interim remediation has been completed, including the removal of shallow soil, its disposal, and restoration of the area with clean topsoil and grass. Despite these efforts, field 7 remains closed, pending state approval.

? 3 and 4: Their opening was originally expected by Tuesday, but has been delayed while the district waits for state approval. Fences have been installed and plans outlining remediation efforts have been submitted.

? 2: The district plans to remove soil from a small area of this grass field to allow fall maintenance to be completed before winter starts. The district has submitted plans and is still waiting for approval from the state.

? 5: The district is submitting a request to the state to open this grass field, where no PCBs were found in the soil.

An environmental study of the soil beneath the proposed MISA auditorium began in early October. Soil samples were collected and are being analyzed. Study findings will begin to be available as of Oct. 28.

Click here to watch complete footage of the school’s public environmental forum earlier this month.

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