By: Martha SparksSociety Editor
November 11, 2012
LOGAN – Plans are being set in motion to get first-built Logan High School on Stratton St. cleaned up. A meeting was held Thursday to discuss the EPA Brownsfield Grant submission that PRIDE Community Services Inc. is planning to submit to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requesting funds to support the project.
“Brownfields is a grant directed at cleaning up vacated and depilated properties in communities for the purpose of redeveloping those properties for something useful,” said Reginald Jones, director of PRIDE.
The application will request EPA funds to assist with cleanup of known contamination at specified locations on the site.
“This EPA grant is solely for the abatement of asbestos and the removal of hazardous materials that are in the building,” said Jones.
Jones said Triad Engineering has completed Phase I of the process which was an asbestos study. Asbestos was found to be present at various locations in the building, including caulking materials, floor tile, blackboards and piping wrap.
“The next step is applying for this grant, which is solely for cleanup,” said Jones. “That’s the first step before we can consider demolishing the building.”
Jones said he realized many people will be upset over the razing of the old high school, but the structure has become a health and safety issue.
“The building has set there for a very long time it has worn… there are so many issues with the building,” said Jones. “Structurally, it is so far beyond being able to remodel. The only feasible thing is to demolish it and redevelop the property.”
Jones said a definitive purpose for the site has not been decided yet.
“Our goal is that whatever we develop that property into will benefit the community,” said Jones. “As for actual demolishing of the building is at least three or four years from now.”
Jones said that if the grant is removed and the asbestos abatement begins the safety and health of PRIDE’s neighbors is assured.
“Any firm that we use will have to adhere to the EPA standards in asbestos removal process,” said Jones. “You can go to the OSHA website and view a video of the process. They actually wrap the building to keep the fiber from coming out. I’m confident that once that process begins that the neighbors and community will be safe. That’s our number one, to make sure the community is safe.”
Jones said community members are urged to submit remarks on project goals for the property after it is cleaned up. Suggested uses have been additional parking, new building space, individual or community housing and green space for community gardens.
Last date to submit comments is November 14th. Jones said anyone wanting to submit a comment can drop by the PRIDE offices for a form, or print one for PRIDE’s website, http://prideinlogan.com/. Click on News then scroll down to Grant Comments. The form can be filled out and either dropped off at the offices or rescanned and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject Brownfields Grant.
The EPA encourages public participation in this application process to ensure community awareness and that community needs are being considered related to property redevelopment.
Specific questions and/or comments can be addressed to: Reginald Jones, Executive Director at 304-752-6868.