The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continued its search for buried WWI-era military materials on AU’s campus over spring break, but this latest effort in the 19-year investigation yielded no results.
The Corps installed a new well in front of Kreeger Hall to test the groundwater outside the building, according to an April 3 email update from the Spring Valley Community Outreach Team.
The Corps is testing groundwater to determine whether the perchlorate samples found at AU and Sibley Memorial Hospital are from the same source, according to the email.
This is the most recent testing the Corps has done. However, the Corps has also been monitoring groundwater for levels of perchlorate, a chemical found in munitions and other materials used by the Army, since its discovery on campus in 2004, The Eagle previously reported.
The Corps also dug four trenches in the Kreeger parking lot and roadway to investigate whether “anomalies,” or metallic objects previously used by the Army, were buried there, according to the Corps’ presentation at the March 13 Restoration Advisory Board meeting.
No anomalies were found, only construction debris and litter such as Coke bottles, according to the Spring Valley Community Outreach Team.
After the investigations, the trenches were repaved, and the Kreeger parking lot was reopened for use.
The entire process took place over spring break, as requested by AU, to reduce any disruptions for students.
This was the last scheduled search for anomalies in the Spring Valley project area, according to the Corps’ presentation.
Two anomalies previously discovered were demolished Feb. 17, the Corps reported.
The Corps discovered the two 75 mm rounds about a mile north of AU’s campus in the Dalecarlia Woods in January 2011, and detonated them in a controlled detonation chamber on federal property at the edge of the Dalecarlia Reservoir Grounds.
The chamber is designed to safely destroy munitions by detonating them, Project Manager Todd Beckwith said.
“The [chamber] structure is comprised of two thick steel boxes, one inside the other, separated by 28 tons of sand,” according to the Army’s news release.
The Corps is also awaiting the final approval of its plan to demolish the AU-owned house at 4825 Glenbrook Rd. The Corps expects to have the necessary signatures of Army officials this month.
A plan detailing how the Corps will clean up the property after the house’s removal will be tentatively finalized in May, according to the Spring Valley Community Outreach Team.
The next RAB meeting is scheduled for April 10 at 7 p.m. in St. David’s Episcopal Church, 5150 Macomb St. NW. The event is open to the public.