HELENA—The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has deemed the Old Clancy Elementary School’s former gymnasium as ready to repurpose as a community resource. The gym building is located on school property just west of the historic Old Red Brick Schoolhouse in Clancy in Jefferson County. It has been used largely for storage since a more modern facility was opened at the New Clancy Elementary School.
A local group petitioned the Jefferson Local Development Corporation (Jefferson LDC) and DEQ’s Brownfields Program to determine whether restoration of the gym would be hindered by the presence of hazardous building materials, such as asbestos and lead-based paint. This potential conversion of the gym was initiated by a parent association and supported by the Clancy Elementary School District.
The project was initiated by an application submitted by the Jefferson LDC on the behalf of the local citizens group. DEQ’s Brownfields Program oversaw a hazardous building materials assessment and then provided the community with a $30,000 grant for the cleanup.
The first step was to assess the building for potential hazardous components. That phase of the project identified asbestos as the major consideration, with isolated instances of lead-based paint and potential PCBs in the fluorescent light fixtures.
The second phase involved the removal of those materials, followed by confirmation sampling to assure the hazardous components were successfully removed, and the area was cleared for reuse. Tetra Tech was DEQ’s contractor for the cleanup.
Presently, the Old Clancy Gym meets the requirements that make it ready for further restoration as a community resource. Local citizens plan to remodel the Gym and use the space for sports, dances, performances, community fairs and events.
DEQ’s Brownfields Program helps communities reduce blight by investigating and remediating contaminated properties such as old gas stations and abandoned buildings so they can be redeveloped. The Brownfields Program administers federal Environmental Protection Agency grants, including assessment and cleanup work at the Old Clancy Gym. Further development of the site will be the responsibility of the interested parties and stakeholders.