Residents oppose concrete-crushing site by Orange County school

Parents concerned about health of Cheney Elementary School students

By Sheli Muniz - Reporter

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Parents, homeowners and school officials are concerned about a concrete-crushing plant that is going up right next to an elementary school in Orange County.

Even though some people are upset about the decision, the superintendent said she could not stop it. County leaders call it a glitch in the system.

The concrete-crushing yard will be built at 6700 Muskogee St. The 10-plus acres line a school and a neighborhood.

Next month, the field at Cheney Elementary School will be packed with kids again, but instead of a forest behind the fields, it will be a concrete-crushing site.

"It's devastating, it's intrusive," said neighbor Elaine Thompson.

"Do you want the children and faculty breathing this in?" asked Kenneth Roberts.

Roberts asked that question to Orange County School Board members at a meeting Tuesday night. He is not only worried about the pollution that could be toxic, but the noise.

"Imagine your children are sitting in class and there's a concrete crusher that's over 90 decibels that's banging away, banging away, banging away," said Roberts.

The yard would have tractors, a crushing machine, a weight station and a scale house.

"One day I just got up and see the trees are being cut," said resident Mirza Ahmed.

Orange County commissioners said a mistake in the books is to blame for that. The neighborhood, Leawood Estates, is zoned as agricultural, so the 100-plus residents weren't surveyed, asked, or even told about the concrete crushing business.

Thompson said, "We don't want them."

School board members said their hands are tied. County leaders said the company, Angelo's Recycled Materials, followed all of the rules to set up shop in the area.

"Our hands are tied? Well, untie them and do something about it," said Roberts.

Residents and parents said they fear if nothing is done, the kids who will fill the grounds will be the ones ultimately paying for it.

"It's going to devastate that school," said Thompson.

The company spokesperson told Local 6 that the facility plans to put up an 8-foot decorative wall and trees to help. As for the dust, their irrigation systems are expected to help alleviate that. The spokesperson said another site of theirs is half a block from a school and there have been no problems.

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