From the Forum West:
Members of the local community board are concerned about the imminent demolition of the former Restaurant Depot building due to the presence of toxic materials found on the 74th Street property, where the city plans to build a new 1,100-seat high school.
At last week’s Community Board 5 meeting Chairman Vincent Arcuri noted that the building, located at 74th Street and 57th Avenue in Maspeth, appeared on that month’s list of buildings to be demolished in the near future. Due to the level of toxins, including carcinogens, found on the site, the board sent a letter to city School Construction Authority President Sharon Greenberger to ensure proper precautions will be taken to avoid any risks to the community.
“Considering the contamination found at this planned Maspeth High School site previously, it is critical that maximum protection against contaminants escaping into the environment be employed during demolition, excavation and removal of the existing building, the foundation, the footings and the soil,” wrote Arcuri, who also requested a meeting with the construction company hired by the city and SCA officials “responsible for oversight of this controversial project.”
“As to the concerns raised by CB5 in regards to toxins found at the site, it's important that I express as unequivocally as possible that this site is absolutely safe for the construction of a new school building. Like all urban soil, the soil at the Restaurant Depot site does contain some mild contaminants,” said DOE spokesman Will Havemann.