That's the gist of the story in today's Sun (Sun.3.30), according to the group of 204 residents called "Neighborhood Schools for Our Children" or NSFOC. The group is suing the school board over the new site of the third high school at Eola/Molitor Rd. Here it is in a nutshell: Thirty-seven acres of the 87-acre site of the new school are owned by Midwest Generation which, until a year ago, operated a peaker power plant on 17 of those acres. The school board commissioned a consultants' report regarding environmental issues associated with the site, but those reports have been under wraps for the past three weeks. Now, the district is planning to go ahead and start construction in mid-April to ensure an August 2009 opening of the school. The district will seek IEPA approval on the site - a process that NSFOC attorney Shawn Collins says could take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. The district, meanwhile, will not build on the 37 Midwest Generation acres (that portion of the site was slated for tennis courts) but will start work on the remaining acres so that the school can be built simultaneous to the examination of the suspect acres by the IEPA.But that's not good enough for the
NSFOC. They want the whole site - all 87 acres - to have the IEPA's stamp of approval, after having, they say in their complaint, identified 26 chemicals connected to peaker plants that could permeate through the groundwater back into the school area and expose the kids to who knows what? The NSFOC is accusing the school board and the district of "rushing to judgment" in their haste to get the first bulldozers moving at the Eola/Molitor site. Where do you side on this issue? We'd like to know.