December 17, 2002
|FROM:||Benjamin Ladner, President|
|SUBJECT:||Update of Army Corps of Engineers Activity on Campus|
As reported in my November 14, 2002 campus memo, the work of the Army Corps on our campus is entering its final phases. The Corps is presently removing and replacing soil on the intramural fields and around the Child Development Center. The clean-up process has included investigating and excavating items detected through a geophysical survey. This operation is considered low risk and is being carried out safely and without incident.
A second phase will deal with items with a higher likelihood of being related to WWI military operations. This is called a “high probability anomaly investigation” and will take place near the Child Development Center. The Corps will erect a tent-like containment structure over the excavation area and will follow strict engineering controls and safety procedures as the work proceeds. Although the likelihood of an event occurring in connection with these excavations is small, should evidence warrant it, work will be suspended immediately and even more stringent safety controls will be put in place. Also, the University will implement its Emergency Preparedness procedures to notify occupants and vacate buildings near the excavation activity if necessary.
This work will begin during winter break on December 19 and should be completed before students return to campus. Scheduling these operations during the winter break provides an extra measure of safety and prevents disruptions to the campus. For those who will be present on campus over the break, some road and sidewalk closures might be required because of excavation activities. The current plan does not require re-routing traffic or parking lot closures, but we will remain flexible should this be needed. We are hopeful that this final phase will be completed in a timely manner and that we can resume normal campus operations in January.
The first priority is always the health and safety of all members of the AU community. The information line (202-885-2020) is available should you have questions. This memo and all others regarding the Corps’ activities on campus are posted on the AU website dedicated to this project, www.american.edu/usace. For information on the Corps and their work in this area, you can visit their website at www.nab.usace.army.mil/projects/WashingtonDC/springvalley.htm.