Long Island, NY – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, announced today that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will provide $200,000 to North Hempstead for clean-up of the Grand Street School site at 252 Grand Street in Westbury. Federal funding was awarded through EPA’s Brownfields Program, which helps communities assess, clean up, redevelop and reuse contaminated properties.
“This is an important investment for North Hempstead,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Federal funding will help revitalize neighborhoods, attract new businesses, create new jobs, and improve the lives of Long Islanders.”
“This EPA Brownfields Cleanup grant will provide valuable support to the Town of North Hempstead in our effort to demolish the vacant, blighted Grand Street School building in New Cassel, as we prepare to make that site a new center for workforce housing and community park and recreational space,” said Supervisor Jon Kaiman. “I am grateful to the U.S. EPA, and appreciate the support of folks like Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who advocated on behalf of the Town for this project. We look forward to a continued partnership with EPA as we move forward on the positive transformation of the community.”
EPA funding will go towards clean up the Grand Street School site at 252 Grand Street in Westbury. The former school has been abandoned for over 20 years and is contaminated with inorganic contaminants and metals. Grant funds will also be used for community outreach. This revitalization project is central to the Town of North Hempstead’s redevelopment initiative, in partnership with the North Hempstead Housing Authority, to reuse the 85,000 square foot site, as home to a $12.75 million affordable housing complex, new open recreational space, and expanded facilities for the local community center.
Since its inception, EPA’s brownfields investments have leveraged more than $19 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding from a variety of public and private sources and have created approximately 87,000 jobs. Brownfields are properties where moderate contamination threatens environmental quality and public health and can interfere with productive re-use of the sites.
Last September, Senator Gillibrand introduced the Waterfront Brownfields Revitalization Act to award similar grants to local government and nonprofit organizations that redevelop abandoned, idled or underused industrial properties on waterfronts.