Swamplot’s new “Bottom” of the Fifth Ward correspondent Vaughn Mueller reports from the site of the old Bruce Elementary School, where a sign indicates the property is for sale. A source tells Swamplot that a few details need to be worked out before it’s “officially” on the market, but an HISD web page provides some information about the property.
The school, which was closed at the end of the spring 2007 semester, sits along Cage and Bringhurst on the I-10 feeder road, and comprises a little more than 2 blocks. Mueller reports that the new Bruce Elementary (built by a 2002 HISD bond) less than a mile away on Jensen opened its doors in the fall of 2007.
Why the move?
. . . it was 87 years old when it closed its doors. Upkeep was probably a contributing factor. Another consideration had to be the MDI site across the street; according to the EPA, the school was in the cleanup zone for the superfund site.
What’s lurking nearby?
“Chemicals of concern” on the MDI property include lead, manganese, molybdenum, benzo(a)pyrene, “Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons” and asbestos. For the surrounding area, which includes the school, and which the EPA refers to as “operating unit 2,” lead is the only chemical listed.
According to the agency’s latest report, the EPA completed “removal actions” on the school in November 2003 and June 2005:
The purpose of the Removal Actions was to remove surface soil with concentrations of lead that equaled or exceeded the cleanup goal of 500 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) to reduce the exposure of children and adults to lead. The EPA believes that these Removal Actions addressed all of the residential yards and [High Access Areas] that could have been affected by the air emissions of particulates containing lead from the former foundry and for which the EPA was granted access for sampling.
Says our correspondent:
According to the same release by the EPA, updated in June of 2009, cleanup at the site has been completed to safe levels. It should be now be ok to build on and around the previous superfund location, at least I sure hope it is considering I live 1 block away…
- Many Diversified Interests, Inc. (PDF) [EPA]
- For Sale—Old Bruce School Site [HISD]
- Bruce Elementary [Google Maps]
- Previously on Swamplot: Reader Report: More New Construction Coming in the Fifth Ward, Fifth Ward: New Urbanists Meet Old Toxic Waste
Photos of old Bruce Elementary School, 713 Bringhurst St. (locations indicated on map): Vaughn Mueller