Oklahoma City leaders decided this week to use some of the city’s $2.8 million in Brownfields funds on the cleanup of two former elementary schools.
The funds from the government are intended to finance environmental cleanup that supports redevelopment projects within Oklahoma City limits.
On Tuesday, the City Council approved $250,000 in subgrants with Community Health Center of Oklahoma to clean up two former elementary schools and redevelop them into healthcare centers.
- Former Highland Elementary SchoolThe agency received $200,000 to remove asbestos from the former Highland Elementary, 5301 Dimple Dr. The building is being redeveloped into a health center that will offer medical, dental, behavioral health, healthcare for pregnant women, a low-cost pharmacy, optometry, a healthy eating demonstration kitchen and a health and wellness education auditorium.
- Former Parker Elementary School
A $50,000 Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund subgrant will be used to remove asbestos from the former Parker Elementary School, 12700 NE 42nd St. Plans are to redevelop the school into a multipurpose center and sports complex.
The funds can be used to remove asbestos, lead and other hazardous material from buildings and the ground. Locations that qualify can include anything from former gas stations and dry cleaners to vacant schools and historic oil sites.
The City’s Brownfields program is federally funded, and federal requirements must be met to qualify. Funding is issued through low-interest loans that must be repaid. Discounted loans are available for non-profit organizations.
“Cleaning up old properties breathes new life into neighborhoods and gives older buildings a second chance,” said Brownfields Coordinator Amanda Alewine. “A few of the properties we’ve helped revitalize include the First National Building, the Oklahoma City Community College Capital Hill location and Scissortail Park.”
Brownfields are targeted sites that can be redeveloped with assessment and cleanup of environmental contamination.