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Irvington Likely To Make East Field First Priority

IRVINGTON, N.Y. – Contaminated soil on the East Field means the Irvington school district might have to postpone a proposed redo of Meszaros Field.

“We're going to address what we need to do to make sure the East Field is safe,” School Board President Robert Grados said during Tuesday's Board of Education meeting.

Preliminary testing on East Field showed concentrations of non-native fill material , such as old pesticides, lead and semi-volatile organic compounds, that exceeded state guidelines. The pollution likely stems from construction and demolition debris dumped at the site in the 1960s and 70s. School officials have closed the field to further examine the issue.

Irvington school officials previously identified drainage problems at Meszaros Field and uneven ground at East Field in August, but focused on Meszaros because it is used for sporting events. East Field has been used as a practice area. A $6 million bond proposal to redo the athletic fields failed in 2008.

“I think our first priority will be East Field,” school board member Maria Kashkin said. “But we will have to address at some point Meszaros Field because there is still a safety issue.”

In August, Superintendent Kristopher Harrison outlined a timeline that would have prepared for a bond November referendum on the fields redo. That timeline's been thrown out the window, Grados said Tuesday. A meeting between school officials and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has been scheduled for Oct. 11.

While waiting to hear from the DEC, the school district should continue pricing out proposed field renovations, school board member James McCann said Tuesday. McCann added it may be cost-effective to combine remediation at East Field with some improvements at Meszaros Field.

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