Toxic chemicals found in Hillhouse football field

Hillhouse football field.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– For the second football season now, a local high school team will have zero home games. It’s all because renovations to Bowen field, outside Hillhouse High School came to a screeching halt when dangerous chemicals were found in the bleachers and on the track.

Many parents want to know where the clean up stands. The News 8 investigators got the documents showing the dangerous chemicals PCB’s were found in several areas, not just the bleachers and track. We also learned the school board has gotten money and approval to move forward with the clean up and construction.

Three separate football teams practicing on a field, but, not a football field.

“They can’t even practice the field goal attempt cause they have nothing to practice on. Look it’s a baseball field,” said Juan Gardner, a parent.

That’s because for the second football season now, Bowen Field, adjacent to Hill House High School has been closed off. Field renovations were put to a stop when PCB’s were found in the track and the bleachers in the summer of 2013. Hillhouse High School parents say they didn’t expect another season of Friday night football games all at the visitor’s field or having to look up and see their home field in a sad state.

“It’s embarrassing. It’s embarrassing,” said Gardner.

Hillhouse football team
Hillhouse football team

The baseball field where they practice is shared by the varsity and junior varsity teams as well as the New Haven Steelers Pop Warner team.

“It’s not fair that our boys gotta play with the big boys. They’ve gotta be stuck in the corner and we can’t see them,” said Elizabeth Belton.

“I don’t want no more, ‘I’m gonna get back to you,” said Gardner.

The New Haven Board of Education says by law, they’re required to do a clean-up plan and remediation process through the Environmental Protection Agency that can take a long time.

When asked about the progress from the city or school, Bill Oliver, Head of Booster Club, said, “ah, in the spring we had a meeting where the Superintendent attended and we asked the question and he sort of told us he would get back to us with some information. We haven’t heard anything further.”

So, News 8 got some answers starting with this document obtained by the News 8 investigators. It shows that after additional testing was done, PCB’s were found in the locker rooms, gatehouse, concessions stand, bleachers, press box, and bathrooms.

News 8 also just got word from the Superintendent’s Office that the EPA has approved the remediation plan and the state has given $4.9 million to cover the cost. So, the goal is to get started in November.

“You want to show me something? Then, I’ll be happy,” said Gardner.

News 8 will keep you up to date on this clean up and construction.

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