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Saturday, March 27, 2004



[ HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETICS ]


Saint Louis looking at
air riflery range


Saint Louis School is in the process of making sure its air riflery range is safe for the environment.

"We're looking at the facility and checking to see what improvements we need to make so that it's safe and functional," Saint Louis spokesperson Rebecca Fernandes said.

As part of a study of the school campus in conjunction with neighboring Chaminade University, a question was raised as to whether the air riflery pellets, which contain lead, are too harmful.

"It's not harmful to students, but we want to make sure that the pH balance in the soil is kept up," Fernandes said. "We're deciding on the best options. Do we put a cover over it so that (rain) water doesn't transfer the lead into the soil or do we do a major cleanup, start all over and do periodic testing? Whatever we do will cost money."

Fernandes said all areas of the campus are being checked for possible hazards, including the science labs.

"We also want to make sure chemicals are being disposed of properly," she said.

Fernandes said it's not the school's intention to suspend or cancel its air riflery program, and she's confident they'll be able to ensure continued competition and a venue that's safe for the environment.

The Crusaders' varsity air riflery team won the boys state championship last fall.

Coach Zig Look, who is in Colorado, is aware of the problem and confirmed that further testing is needed before the school can make a plan of action.

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