Demolition scheduled on former Pinecastle Jeep Range

Published July 12, 2013

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District announced today that demolition of several small munitions is scheduled on the former Pinecastle Jeep Range Monday morning, July 15. The munitions were recovered on the Odyssey Middle School property, located on a formerly used defense site where USACE is working to complete the clearance of World War II-era munitions and munitions debris. 

            The munitions, one 37-mm rocket, one 20-mm rocket and one smoke grenade, were recovered from beneath the athletic track and will be removed by detonation between 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. A safety perimeter is established and engineering controls will be used to ensure safety and limit the noise and debris from the blast. The removal action poses no danger to people in the area.

            The work currently under way at Odyssey Middle School is a follow up to investigations and munitions removal conducted between 2007 and 2008. The earlier actions were part of a priority cleanup that removed the potential imminent risk, as USACE worked to complete the sequential phases of investigation required by law. The process was completed and final decision documents were signed for the area known as Demonstration Range North, which includes Odyssey Middle School and the Tivoli Gardens and Lee Vista Square residential communities, and for two other areas, Demonstration Range East and Remaining Areas, which required no further action.

USACE contractors have removed the athletic track on the school property and are digging to recover and remove remaining munitions from the school property. USACE is also investigating 12 parcels in Tivoli Gardens and 129 parcels in Lee Vista Square, for which it was previously unable to obtain permission to access. USACE has since received permission to access all remaining properties in Tivoli Gardens and approximately 60 percent of the parcels in Lee Vista Square. Efforts to obtain permission to investigate all remaining properties in Lee Vista Square will continue throughout the duration of the current work.   

            On behalf of the Department of Defense, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cleans up sites that were formerly used by the military. In 1943, the U.S. government leased 12,483 acres of land in Orange County as an off-post site of the Pinecastle Army Airfield, for use as a gunnery and demonstration range. The site was declared surplus property and all leases were terminated by December 1947.          

 “Safety is always our top priority,” said Frank Araico, project manager. Munitions may be dangerous and are not always easily recognizable. If you encounter potential munitions, follow the 3Rs of explosives safety: Recognize what you have encountered may be munitions, and munitions are dangerous. Retreat from the area without touching or moving the object. Report what you saw and where you saw it to local law enforcement immediately by dialing 9-1-1.

For further information, please e-mail or call 866.279.4880. To review documents about the Pinecastle Jeep Range Formerly Used Defense Site, please visit the Orlando Public Library Southeast Branch, 5575 S. Semoran Boulevard, Orlando, Fla.

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Nancy J. Sticht

Release no. 13-049