The former Valley Pike Elementary School already had been heavily vandalized before meth lab remnants were discovered inside the building. Photo by David Grace.
BLOUNTVILLE — Sullivan County taxpayers will be footing the bills for testing and cleanup of a closed county elementary school, where evidence of methamphetamine production was discovered.
The former Valley Pike Elementary School, near Bristol, already had been heavily vandalized — somewhere around $125,000 worth — before meth lab remnants were discovered inside the building.
Due to the potential contamination from the chemicals used to make meth, the building currently is quarantined. The county is required to test and clean up any meth-related contamination before it can even try to sell — or tear down — the old school building, Administrator of County Buildings Claude Smith said last week.
Smith and County Purchasing Agent Kris Davis presented information on Valley Pike to the Sullivan County Commission’s Building Committee during a called meeting of the group on Sept. 18.
The Building Committee subsequently directed Davis to contract with a Johnson City-based company for the testing, which Smith said would run around $20,000 for 150 samples throughout the building to test for contamination.
The extent of a cleanup effort will depend on the extent of contamination found by the testing.
Smith said once the company gets the go-ahead, the testing could be completed within three weeks.Read more of this story in Monday's print edition of the Times-News or the expanded electronic edition.