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October 10, 2012

EHS to utilize $200,000 grant to complete environmental remediation in Brigham City

Construction to expand USU Brigham City Regional campus will commence in a year

The EPA has given USU a $200,000 grant to continue environmental remediation on the Brigham City east bench. The abandoned site, which used to serve as Bushnell Army Hospital and Intermountain Indian School, will be demolished after the environmental remediation is complete.

USU purchased the 38-acre property within the past year and a half for the purpose of expanding the USU Brigham City Regional Campus. The campus is currently located in a renovated strip mall on 1100 south. The buildings contain classrooms equipped to send and receive interactive broadcast courses, science and engineering labs, as well as faculty and staff offices.

Construction of buildings at the new site will begin a year from now. The campus is working closely with the Environmental Health and Safety division of USU’s Office of Research and Graduate Studies to ensure the identification and abatement hazardous materials from the old buildings prior to demolition. This process includes identifying and removing hazardous materials such as asbestos, fluorescent light tubes, mercury switches and lead based paint, prior to demolition.

“The removal process is conducted before building demolition to prevent hazardous materials from polluting the soil, air and water,” said Steve Bilbao, EHS director.

In addition, EHS will be creating specifications and bid documents to hire contractors that will perform the work and will then conduct oversight of the removal by supervising the contractors to ensure that they abide by the regulations, collect air samples and dispose of toxic waste properly.

“So far, 11 buildings have been abated, and four have been demolished,” said Thomas Lee, dean of USU Brigham City campus. “The grant of $200,000 from EPA for the environmental remediation will be very helpful in abating the remaining seven buildings and will cover the majority of the cost of asbestos removal.”

“Our current campus site is owned by the state and has provided a great setting for students to further their education, but enrollments continue to grow and we need to plan for future growth,” said Lee. “The regional campus provides access to education for students who need to continue to work and live at home in Brigham City.”

This fall, 1,099 students enrolled at the USU Brigham City campus, many of which are “non-traditional” students who are returning to school to complete a degree. The average age of students at the campus is 30 years old.

- Nadiah Johari
 

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