Cleanup complete at former charter school in Dinosaur thanks to Brownfields grant |

Cleanup complete at former charter school in Dinosaur thanks to Brownfields grant

EPA Brownfields funds help Dinosaur remove contamination, pave way for future use as a community center

Thanks to a $200,000 Environmental Protection Agency Brownfields grant, the Town of Dinosaur has completed cleanup of asbestos, lead-based paint, polychlorinated biphenyl and mold at the former Dinosaur Community Charter School.

The EPA previously awarded the grant in 2019 to help with the cleanup, paving the way for the renovation of the property into a community center.

“EPA Brownfields grants continue to help Colorado communities clean up and restore properties impacted by environmental contamination,” said EPA Acting Regional Administrator Deb Thomas in a news release. “It’s especially rewarding when our assistance helps transform a building that was once a burden into a cornerstone for community revitalization.”

A brownfield is a property for which the expansion, redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant, according to the EPA. Since its inception in 1995, EPA’s Brownfields Program has provided nearly $1.76 billion in grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return them to productive reuse.

At the town’s request, the EPA performed a Targeted Brownfields Assessment at the building in 2018, which identified the presence of contamination, according to the news release.

That assessment led the way to an EPA Brownfields cleanup grant in 2019, which funded the removal of 12,000 square feet of asbestos, mold and lead-based paint from the building. The grant was also used to remove asbestos material in the deteriorating roof and build a new roof.

With the contamination now removed, Dinosaur intends to redevelop the property as a community center that will host various events, including holiday celebrations, Boys & Girls Club activities, summer school, meal programs, senior activities and a food pantry, the news release states.

Additionally, The Town of Dinosaur has partnered with the University of Colorado’s College of Architecture and Planning for assistance with architectural drawings of the new community center.

“This EPA grant to clean up the school has been a bright light for the people of this community,” said Town of Dinosaur Administrator Larry Elarton in the news release. “With the building complete, community members have been able to envision community programs, night sky viewings, daycare amenities, community events and other functions that would have never been possible without this cleanup. We are now seeing again what is possible thanks to this partnership with EPA.”

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