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Army Corps of Engineers, Project Update | Archive

July 6, 2001

 TO:  Campus Community
 FROM:  Jorge Abud, Assistant Vice President of Facilities
 SUBJECT:  Anticipated Schedule of Corps’ Activities on Campus

The Army Corps of Engineers’ environmental investigation and clean up on the American University campus is continuing. The next phase involves the excavation and removal of soils near the Child Development Center (CDC). Based on conversations with the Corps, work will begin at the CDC the first week of July and should conclude toward the end of August. The steps will include: (a) Installing a temporary construction fence; (b) Removing the wooden playground fence, playground equipment, trees and stumps; (c) Excavating the soil; (d) Depositing clean backfill soil; (e) Spreading topsoil, seed and grass. The excavated soil will be transported in covered trucks to a staging area near Sibley Hospital, for eventual removal from the area. Please note that some delay in the schedule could occur due to adverse weather or other circumstances.

After the Corps excavates the soil to a depth of two feet, confirmation testing will be done to ensure that no elevated levels of arsenic remain. The University has requested that during the excavation, the Corps use specific control measures, such as wetting the soil, to reduce the likelihood of dust and using air monitors to check the air quality. The Corps will also take samples inside the CDC building to confirm that it is safe.

While the clean up of affected soil at the CDC should be completed by the end of August, other steps must be taken before the facility is returned for use. The playground area will be readied with new equipment and ground cover, and the building interior will be thoroughly cleaned and repainted. After all work is completed, the D.C. Department of Health will inspect and re-license the facility. At this time, we do not know when the building will be ready for occupancy, but we will keep the campus informed. In the meantime, we are doing everything possible to make sure that the children are comfortable in the facility at Leonard Hall.

We still await information from the Army Corps regarding remediation of the intramural fields, and will inform the campus when these details are known. If you have any questions about the ongoing Corps of Engineers project on the AU campus, please call the information line at (202) 885-2020.