Bennington’s parents worried about new high school proposal

A debate over a high school project is brewing in Bennington after the school board agreed to buy 78 acres of land near a former landfill, closed 30 years ago. The land is located near 132nd and Rainwood. The district hopes to build a second high school because the existing one lacks space. “We started looking for land several months ago as we plan, as you can see the numbers, to anticipate a second high school in the next four to five years,” said Terry Haack, Superintendent of Public Schools. of Bennington. But parents say they are concerned about the location saying it will cause traffic jams. And they also have environmental concerns. Although the soil has passed EPA standards and tests in the past, some parents still worry about the future. “The technology used and the EPA requirements for mitigating gas and chemical leaks into the ground were probably lower 30 years ago than the standards we have in place today,” said Jeremy Dick. , a parent. Superintendent Haack defends the purchase saying their research companies rank it high on different factors. They’re also open to doing more discharge tests, but couldn’t say when. “You know we understand if we have to go further to prove that this is a safe environment for children,” Haack said. Residents who live near the site say they still have many questions. I will not sell. So to me it’s a worthless place to have a school,” said Bennington resident Tom Smith. Nothing is set in stone yet. The high school’s second plan is part of a broader bond proposal the board hopes to put to the November ballot.

A debate over a high school project is brewing in Bennington after the school board agreed to buy 78 acres of land near a former landfill, closed 30 years ago.

The land is located near 132nd and Rainwood. The district hopes to build a second high school because the existing one lacks space.

“We started looking for land several months ago as we plan, as you can see the numbers, to anticipate a second high school in the next four to five years,” said Terry Haack, Superintendent of Public Schools. of Bennington.

But parents say they are concerned about the location saying it will cause traffic jams. And they also have environmental concerns. Although the soil has passed EPA standards and tests in the past, some parents still worry about the future.

“The technology used and the EPA requirements for mitigating gas and chemical leaks into the ground were probably lower 30 years ago than the standards we have in place today,” said Jeremy Dick. , a parent.

Superintendent Haack defends the purchase saying their research companies rank it high on different factors. They’re also open to doing more discharge tests, but couldn’t say when.

“You know we understand if we have to go further to prove that this is a safe environment for children,” Haack said.

Residents who live near the site say they still have a lot of questions.

“You have to have development. There has to be housing just to pay for that. The second part B of that is the land around is all farmers, they’re not going to sell. So for me it’s a place with no value to have a school,” said Bennington resident Tom Smith.

Nothing is set in stone yet. The high school’s second plan is part of a broader bond proposal the board hopes to put to the November ballot.

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