PANAMA CITY, Fla. — The ground under an elementary school in Bay County contains hazardous materials.
The fence line at Tyndall Elementary was apparently moved to an area that once was the site of a World War Two training school.
At Tyndall Elementary, lead pellets as well as clay pigeon pieces were found on the grounds here. The property was used decades ago for an aerial gunnery school.
Due to Hurricane Michael, the previous fence protecting the students from the possible contamination was knocked down.
When contractors started to rebuild the fence to keep students away from fallen trees and debris…the fence was placed too far back and in the wrong area where not all of the soil had been checked for lead remains.
But, Superintendent of Schools Bill Husfelt says he doubts there is any real danger for students.
“I sincerely doubt any students really played out this far away from the equipment and the playground. But again, Tyndall is just being very cautious and making sure that we get this information. I respect them so much for letting us know immediately when they found out.” said Husfelt.
5.5 million dollars was already spent to clean up Tyndall Elementary in 2009 for remediation. Tyndall Air Force Base is getting involved as well.
Colonel Brian Laidlaw said the Base is doing everything in its power to help out.
“The probability that anyone came out here and spent an extended period of time in this area is fairly low, but nonetheless we owe it to parents, teachers, faculty and staff to let them know what we found and what our plan is to remediate it.” said Laidlaw.
Now there was only 200 kids attending school here in December after Hurricane Michael hit. the district plans to contact all 200 of those families personally and let them know about the possibly dangerous lead contamination.
“What we’ve got to do is go through all the records and get a list of all the students that were here, no matter from how long from December 5th on. ” said Husfelt.
Next for the elementary school, a new fence will be built closer to the school in a safe and approved area.