FREMANTLE PRIMARY SCHOOL oval will undergo remedial works after fragments of glass, metal and ceramics were found sticking up through the grass.
A WA education department spokesperson said the materials were remnants from houses along the eastern side of the oval demolished before the school was built. “The top soil and grass on the oval will be removed to a depth of up to 150mm and replaced with blended soil that will be levelled and covered with new roll-on turf,” the megaphone said.
“Works to repair the school oval at Fremantle Primary School will begin in the first week of school holidays.
“We are not aware that any students have been injured by these items during school hours.”
In 2014 the site was declared contaminated because of high lead levels, which was later found to have slowly killed a Moreton Bay fig.
The Alma Street school’s grounds used to be Freo’s main cemetery and a report to Fremantle council in 2015 revealed that as well as lead and zinc throughout the site there were isolated pockets of arsenic and copper.
The ed department megaphone said that the fragments appearing on the oval were not toxic: “A health assessment was done by environmental health consultants who assured us the materials are not toxic or hazardous but could pose a risk of injury.”
“The materials were first identified during construction works being undertaken at the school.
“This initiated a more detailed investigation across the site including the oval where a small number of items” – one or two a year – “have been coming to the surface of the oval.”
School principal Hayden O’Mara sent out a letter to parents informing them of the works on Friday.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK