Phase six of the Oxford Community Center construction project began in winter 2009-2010 with the site work for the field improvements on the north side of the new facility. This work resulted in materials being found in the soil that lead to additional soil testing that confirmed the materials contained levels of contaminants that are above the Recreational Soil Reference Value and are hazardous. Those materials included lead, arsenic, mercury, selenium among others. Additional testing was necessary to determine the potential presence of additional contaminants.
Working with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), testing was completed which resulted in a need for further testing by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). All of this testing was completed over a period of several months with the EPA finalizing testing in August 2010. During this time, the Oxford Community Center interior space and outdoor play-area remained open to the public and was not within the boundaries of the hazardous material findings. Both the upper and lower fields were within the boundary and were closed in March 2010.
The 2011 project consists of developing the lower field into a first-class athletic facility. The new facility will feature synthetic turf play fields suitable for multi-use recreational programming. This will include use for football, soccer, baseball, softball, and lacrosse. With help from the Parks Conservancy, field light towers and landscaping will compliment the new facility.
The work includes the installation of synthetic turf carpet after replacing of the impacted soils with clean fill which is currently stockpiled on the upper fields. Work has begun on the lower field with the completion scheduled for the end of the year.
When funds are available the upper field will be developed into a natural turf athletic field.