Sycamore Elementary: Experts provide scientific facts on site safety

Sycamore Elementary: Experts provide scientific facts on site safety

Sycamore ES:
Experts provide scientific evidence on site safety

On Mar. 11, Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) held an information meeting for residents of the North Gwinnett Cluster about parent concerns regarding Sycamore ES and its proximity to area landfills. The school, located at 5695 Sycamore Road in Buford, will open in August 2003 to relieve overcrowding at Riverside and Sugar Hill elementary schools. GCPS will open eight new schools this fall.

At the meeting, a panel of experts in the fields of engineering, health, and environmental protection, along with a representative of the Georgia Department of Education, addressed the audience. The panel of speakers included:
— Mark Smith, chief, Land Protection Branch, Environmental Protection Division
— Dr. Jerry Rochelle, director, facilities services unit, Georgia Department of Education
— Charles Ferry, chief environmental engineer, MACTEC Engineering (formerly called Law Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc.)
— Dr. Lloyd Hofer, health director, Gwinnett County Health District

The speakers provided factual information and scientific evidence that the school site is safe. Mr. Ferry told parents there is no exposure to hazardous materials, and, therefore, there is no risk to health and safety.

“Gwinnett County Public Schools and the Gwinnett County Board of Education would never put children or staff members in a harmful situation,” says Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks. “This meeting provided parents an opportunity to tour the school and receive information about Sycamore ES and the process GCPS has used to ensure the site is safe. The school system is currently determining what additional steps need to be taken— further testing and ongoing monitoring, for example— to reassure parents about the site’s safety and to ensure the success of Sycamore ES.”

For more information about the Sycamore ES site-selection process, along with answers to frequently asked questions review the following materials that were handed out at the community meeting.

Sycamore information meeting handouts.pdf