Libby, Montana School District 4 to receive $388,000 for cleanup of Asa Wood Elementary School building
EPA Brownfields grant will be used to clean up the former school for reuse as an assisted living center for seniors
Libby, Mont. -- Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing Libby School District 4 will be awarded a $388,000 Brownfields Cleanup Grant to remove contaminants at the former Asa Wood Elementary School site in Libby, Montana.
Libby School District 4 is among 151 communities nationwide selected to receive a total of 154 grant awards totaling $66.5 million in EPA Brownfields funding through the agency’s Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup Grant programs. This funding will support underserved and economically disadvantaged communities across the country in assessing and cleaning up contaminated and abandoned industrial and commercial properties. Approximately 50 percent of selected recipients will be receiving EPA Brownfields Grant funding for the first time and more than 85 percent are located in or serving small communities.
“EPA is pleased to support Libby School District 4 in their efforts to clean up and redevelop the historic Asa Wood Elementary School,” said Mark A. Smith, EPA Region 8 director of the Land, Chemicals, and Redevelopment Division. “We look forward to seeing the building revitalized as an assisted living facility that will serve seniors in Libby and Lincoln County for years to come.”
“This is a big deal and it’s a true win-win for the school district, the city, and the county,” said Mark Peck, Lincoln County Commissioner. “It will provide opportunities for investment and economic development.”
EPA Brownfields funds will allow the School District to clean up asbestos, lead-based paint and mercury at the former school building, which operated from 1953 to 2011, to facilitate its redevelopment as an assisted living facility for senior citizens. The facility will include 45 senior living units; space for arts, crafts, entertainment, food preparation, meal service and further indoor socialization; and space for outdoor entertainment and socialization.
Grant funds also will be used to conduct community outreach and site reuse visioning activities, including developing fact sheets, holding design charettes, and developing a redevelopment plan and architectural rendering.
The list of the fiscal year 2021 applicants selected for funding is available here: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicants-selected-fy-2021-brownfields-multipurpose-assessment-and-cleanup-grants
EPA anticipates that it will award the grants once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied by the selected recipients.
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. This has led to significant benefits for communities across the country. For example,
· To date, communities participating in the Brownfields Program have been able to attract more than $34.4 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding after receiving Brownfields funds. This has led to over 175,500 jobs in cleanup, construction, and redevelopment.
· Based on grant recipient reporting, recipients leveraged on average $20.13 for each EPA Brownfields dollar and 10.3 jobs per $100,000 of EPA Brownfield Grant funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements.
· In addition, an academic peer-reviewed study has found that residential properties near brownfield sites increased in value by 5% to 15.2% as a result of cleanup activities.
· Finally, analyzing data near 48 brownfields, EPA found an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional tax revenue for local governments in a single year after cleanup—2 to 7 times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of those brownfield sites.
For more on the Brownfields Grants: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-epa-brownfield-grant-funding
For more on EPA’s Brownfields Program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields