STEUBENVILLE - The city will receive $96,700 in Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund grant money for the removal of asbestos at the Grand Theater on South Fourth Street.
The Clean Ohio Council approved more than $19 million in Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund grants for 11 brownfield clean-up projects throughout the state, which are expected to create and retain nearly 900 jobs.
"Upon remediation, the building will be restored to its original performing arts and movie theater purpose. The building will also include the Performing Arts and Steubenville History Museum and a Dean Martin Museum. The project is expected to create two jobs. The funds will be used for asbestos abatement," explained Ohio Department of Development Director Christiane Schmenk.
"This is really exciting news. The grant will allow us to get rid of the little bit of asbestos in the building," said Scott Dressel, chairman of the Grand Theater Restoration board of directors.
"We will be required to match a certain percentage of the grant. But we already have some of the money and are working to obtain the rest of the local funds for that match. This is good news because we are at the point where we are ready for the restoration work to begin. Everything that we needed to remove has been taken out," said Dressel.
"The theater lobby is about done at this point. We are preparing to complete the office lobby and the museum area," added Dressel.
The funding, approved at a Clean Ohio Council Round 12 awards meeting, will allow for the reuse of commercial and industrial properties that are currently underutilized. The grants are contingent upon State Controlling Board approval, Schmenk said.
"The communities receiving Clean Ohio Funds are taking the important first step to redevelopment - ensuring sites are safe and ready for growth. These investments will not only assist in finding new uses for old and underused properties, but also support vital job creation efforts around the state," Schmenk said.
The Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund is a competitive statewide program that provides grants of up to $3 million to acquire property, demolish structures, conduct environmental cleanup and improve infrastructure.
Since its inception, 150 Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund projects have been awarded more than $295 million, leveraging $2.5 billion in private sector investment, and creating and retaining more than 12,500 jobs.
The city's Urban Projects office filed the application with the Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund in order to perform asbestos abatement at the Grand Theater following a March 12 public hearing.
"This is an important project for the downtown and will continue the work to bring the theater back to life. The abatement work will allow the group doing restoration work on the building to continue their project," said Urban Projects Director Chris Petrossi.
David Kreeger, project manager of TRC Solutions of Gahanna, said his consulting firm prepared the environmental assessment and cleanup plans for the theater.
"We did a site walk through the theater and looked for anything that could be an environmental concern. The theater is part of an effort by the Grand Theater Restoration Project to revitalize the theater as a mixed use theater," said Kreeger.