Eastchester residents voice concerns about piles of dirt near schools

(11/03/03) EASTCHESTER - Some people who live near three schools in Eastchester say a renovation effort to improve the school athletic fields has created an eyesore. More than 100 parents and homeowners voiced their concerns at a school board meeting at the Anne Hutchinson Elementary School on Mill Road. They are demanding answers from school board members about the project and when their neighborhoods will return to normal.

Area residents are concerned about their children's health after state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) officials said materials that could cause cancer have been found in the soil at Eastchester High School and Greenvale and Hutchinson elementary schools. School district officials say they have hired an independent environmental consultant to test the mounds of soil, and the consultant did not find any cancer-causing material in the dirt.

Still, after Monday night's school board meeting, the school district officials said they would order additional testing. In the meantime, they are putting up fences around the piles of dirt. Environmentalists say the dirt should be fine once it is covered with topsoil and grass.

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