Late yesterday afternoon, we received preliminary notice that the soil tests recently taken from the area around the CDC by the Army Corps of Engineers show signs of the presence of a higher concentration of chemicals in the soil than previous tests had indicated. While roughly half of the samples were within the EPA safety range, roughly half were not. These preliminary data are being analyzed to determine the significance of these findings.
In the meantime, I have decided that the University should not take any chances with the safety of CDC children and teachers. Therefore, beginning today (Thursday, January 18), the Child Development Center will be operating in the Leonard Hall, and will do so until we are able to determine what next steps need to be taken.
We are discussing the data with the Army and will be developing a comprehensive plan to remedy the CDC area.
I would like to stress the findings of the Army were reported to us as preliminary, and that we will move as quickly as possible to verify conclusively their accuracy and meaning. Also, we will be scheduling an information meeting with parents to discuss what is known and what is being planned.
My chief of staff, David Taylor, will be the University's key source of information until the situation is further clarified.
I know this surprising turn of events presents us all with a challenge for ensuring that your children are not only safe but also are continuing to be served well programmatically and educationally. However, I assure you, there is not higher priority for the University.