February 28, 2008
TO: Campus Community
FROM: Neil Kerwin, President
SUBJECT: Update on the Army Corps Activity
As the current phase of the Army Corps of Engineers work (under the containment structure at 4825 Glenbrook Road) nears its conclusion during the first week of March, the Corps is planning the next phases of its operation which will focus on:
Additional intrusive work planned for the adjacent property at 4801 Glenbrook;
New areas identified last summer that might require test pits and soil sampling near the soccer field, Beeghly, and the radio tower;
Clean-up of the property at 4835 Glenbrook;
Overview for the future work to be done around the Public Safety building.
A brief description of each follows.
Glenbrook Road. The Corps identified anomalies (unknown buried items) beyond the footprint of the containment structure as needing further assessment. The Corps proposed that this cluster be investigated by moving the containment structure onto the adjacent property at 4801 Glenbrook by 15 to 20 feet, while leaving the majority of the heavy equipment on university property (4825 Glenbrook). This work will require the same safety protocols and procedures that are currently in place and have been since early fall semester. Any future action will be based on what is found during the investigation of the first cluster of buried material. The Corps believes this additional work could extend the project by five months.
The university will allow the Corps to stage the heavy equipment for this project from 4825 Glenbrook, but asked the Corps to help lessen the impact on AU’s campus operations. The original work plans for 4825 Glenbrook suggested completion in March 2008, which would have allowed AU’s athletics program to resume use of the artificial turf field, which is currently within the shelter-in-place zone. Because of this work extension, however, AU’s athletics programs will not have full access to the field for a while longer. As an accommodation, the Corps will modify their work hours and/or suspend work entirely on specific dates and times to enable some scheduled athletics activities on the field. The university and athletics department are working with the Army Corps to determine the specific dates and times for these modifications which will allow some use of the turf field for pre-designated events.
Additional Anomalous Areas - Soccer Field/Beeghly/Broadcast Tower. As a result of the university’s request that the Army take a comprehensive approach to their evaluation of the campus, the Corps has agreed to investigate three new areas. Through the use of historic photographs, the Corps has identified potential burial sites and is developing a work plan to investigate them, later this year or next.
4835 Glenbrook Test Pits. To date, the Army Corps has completed approximately two-thirds of the test pits planned for 4835 Glenbrook. This work is expected to last into the summer. While World War I munitions debris and laboratory material have been found, there has been no confirmed detection of chemical agent thus far. The university continues to work with the Corps to ensure the property is cleaned to appropriate standards.
Public Safety Building. Previous investigations indicate the need for additional work in the vicinity of the Public Safety Building to investigate anomalies, remove contaminated soil and remove laboratory debris. The Army is developing a work plan for review by regulatory agencies and the university. Their goal is to carry out this work in early summer. The university will continue to work with the Army Corps to ensure an appropriate clean up.
We will provide updates as there is more to report. Other memos and information on the Army Corps operation is available on the Web site devoted to this topic, www.american.edu/usace.
February 28, 2008 8:46 AM