McClymonds High School chemical scare: District searching for space to hold classes

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- "Ideally we want to keep all these kids together in the same school and the same location and we don't have one school ready to take them unfortunately," said John Sasaki with Oakland Unified School District.

There are about 350 students at McClymonds High School. The options - share space with another school or even hold classes at church halls. There's also a possibility that the school year will be extended in order to make up for the missed classes.

Sasaki said the school will be closed indefinitely following air testing this weekend but the hope is to have classes start again by mid-week.

RELATED: McClymonds High School chemical scare: Families angered by lack of answers at emergency meeting in Oakland

Families are are troubled both by the possible contamination and the interruption of the academic year.

"McClymonds is a small black school and it's all we have down here and it seems like they're always trying to do something to shut it down," said Susan Richardson, a former student at the school.

The school canceled classes indefinitely Thursday, after groundwater in the area tested positive for TCE - a cancer-causing chemical.

According to local and state officials, there are several sites near McClymonds that could be the source. An old plating plant about 600 meters from the school is one possibility. We even found a hazardous waste sign right at the gate.

People who live in the neighborhood are now concerned it's not just the school that needs to be tested.

"I'm concerned about where it is underground if it's covering the school then it must be under houses as well," said Isabelle Rodriguez who is house hunting in the area.

RELATED: Oakland's McClymonds High School closed for chemical testing

Kevin Lynch lives right next door to the contaminated site, in 2018 he even got a letter from state officials about toxic chemicals the area.

"We have gotten periodic updates about what the're doing but they've never said there's any sort of alarm and they said we're safe but you always have to be suspicions."

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