Kentwood residents express concern over dust from high school project
Published 11:37 am Tuesday, October 20, 2015
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
ALABASTER – Members of the Alabaster Board of Education said they will take steps to minimize dust in the area around the district’s new high school project off Kent Dairy Road after multiple residents from the Kentwood subdivision expressed concerns over airborne dirt during an Oct. 19 meeting.
The Alabaster City School System currently is working to build a new 384,000-square-foot high school on a portion of a 306-acre tract of land between Thompson Road and Kent Dairy Road. The school is scheduled to open to students in the fall of 2017.
During the School Board’s Oct. 19 meeting, three residents from the Kentwood subdivision, which is adjacent to the new high school land, expressed concerns over the dust coming off the cleared land, and about the machinery noise coming from the property. Some of the Kentwood residents in attendance also expressed concerns about the high school project while the city was going through the rezoning process to allow for the new school.
“You can’t keep a vehicle clean. My neighbor can’t keep her swimming pool clean. It’s clogging up her pool filter,” said Kentwood resident Lance Gardner. “Dust settles on pretty much any and every flat surface.”
Gardner’s concerns were echoed by his neighbors, Alex Goodsell and Bradley Cooper.
“This past Sunday, the wind was blowing most of the day, and you could literally see a dust cloud in the sky,” Goodsell told School Board members. “I used to see water trucks out there all the time, but I’ve not see one in a month or a month-and-a-half.”
“The dust is a pretty major concern of ours,” Cooper said. “If y’all could address that, it would be greatly appreciated.”
School Board members said water trucks regularly spray the land, and said they will work to ensure enough trucks are running to keep the dust to a minimum.
“We will do whatever we can to address your concerns,” BOE member Derek Henderson said. “I do thank you for expressing what you have expressed. We may not have enough trucks running out there.”
“Thank you for the way you all have gone about this. We can’t do anything if we don’t know about it,” said board member Ty Quarles. “I can assure you guys we will do what we can to make sure you maintain the quality of life you had when you moved to Alabaster.”