School board OKs another $200,000 for cleanup on prime land

The Edmonds School District wants to sell the 9-acre parcel near the Alderwood mall in Lynnwood.

LYNNWOOD — Before the Edmonds School District can sell a valuable chunk of land near Alderwood mall, it has more environmental cleanup to do.

The Edmonds School Board on Tuesday approved another $200,000 to remove contaminated soils.

The district’s capital projects office requested the extra money to complete methane gas cleanup, upping the total budget for the work to $485,000. Methane is a greenhouse gas.

The 9-acre site on Alderwood Mall Boulevard is considered prime real estate. It once was home to the district’s maintenance and transportation facility and the location is near both the mall and I-5.

Cleanup planning and work has been in the works for several years.

Along the way, the state Department of Ecology determined that methane gas levels in the soil were above acceptable standards.

The district performed a methane study and worked with environmental consultant EHSI to perform soil mixing on a test site. The district hired Clearcreek Contractors to mix the soil, releasing the methane trapped within, according to a school district report.

The initial methane removal work was approved by the school board in April for $285,000.

During this soil mixing, the district discovered more contaminated soil that also must be removed, which led to Tuesday’s school board vote.

The project is paid for through a capital fund, which is separate from the operations budget that covers day-to-day costs of running the district’s schools.

The old maintenance and transportation facility isn’t the only piece of land the district has dangled on the market for development. The district entered into a long-term lease on land near Alderwood mall where a former Lynnwood High School campus once stood. A Costco now operates on part of that site.

This time, the district isn’t thinking about a long-term lease.

“We are looking to sell it, not lease it,” school district spokeswoman Harmony Weinberg said Wednesday.

The new maintenance and transportation departments were moved in recent years to a 19-acre campus at 20601 52nd Ave. W. The campus includes about 69,000 square feet of building space.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

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