Riverbend Elementary School should have a covered play area by next fall.
``We have a fairly small playground,'' said Principal Jerry Schoenberger. ``So the addition of a covered area would increase the options for kids when the weather is bad.''
Under a legal settlement with Red Samm Construction, former owner of the school site, the company will build a 60- by 120-foot covered play area similar to the one at Glacier Valley Elementary. The city has asked that it be completed no later than Sept. 1.
The city didn't have a dollar figure for the construction cost. The city's only expenses will be to monitor construction for quality, said city architect Catherine Fritz.
The city settled a lawsuit with Red Samm last summer over petroleum-contaminated soil discovered during school construction in 1996.
The play area ``is to compensate the city for the time and expense of dealing with the contamination,'' said City Attorney John Corso.
Among the settlement's provisions are ongoing environmental monitoring by the company, building the play area, and city assistance in finding a permanent location for 11,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil. It is now stockpiled, on a liner and covered, on private property off Montana Creek Road.
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