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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 10/6/2001 5:03:02 AM EST
http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/beaconnews/top/a03prisco.htm Lead dust at Prisco clouds future of gun range -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- By Martin Zabell SPECIAL TO THE BEACON NEWS Found in basement: Auroraland club, East NJROTC might be left out, even after area is cleaned AURORA — The basement in Prisco Community Center has so much environmentally unsafe lead dust that it will be closed for about two months while it's cleaned. The damage has not affected the rest of the building, but the basement has been sealed so Fox Valley Park District patrons and staffers cannot enter it. Concerned about indoor air quality because of problems at St. Charles East High School and some Aurora schools, the Fox Valley Park District this summer decided to have all of its structures tested by Westmont-based JMS Environmental Associates Ltd. The tests showed that all of the buildings were completely free of any kind of contamination except the basement of the Prisco center at Illinois Avenue and Lake Street. In the basement, JMS found elevated levels of lead dust in the area occupied by a shooting range, which has been used by the Auroraland Rifle & Pistol Club for decades, and in adjacent areas. No detectable lead dust contamination in any other part of the 35,000-square-foot building. Bob Vaughan, executive director of the Park District, said he has been assured by JMS officials that keeping Prisco open while there is lead dust in the basement will not harm anyone. He noted that there have been no other activities in the basement, which also includes a storage area. Sealing off the basement, he added, is a safety precaution. "(Lead dust) sounds frightening, but, to the best of our knowledge, there is no (safety) problem," Vaughan said. He emphasized that the basement wasn't sealed off from the rest of the building until the recent negative test, but lead dust hadn't moved upstairs. Repeated efforts to talk to JMS officials about the effect of the lead dust were unsuccessful, but, in a letter to the Park District, company president Joseph Sterner wrote that "the lead dust had permeated the soundproofing to create a hazardous lead waste product" and recommended that the environmental operation should include cleaning floor and wall surfaces outside of the actual gun range, as well as "porous furnishings or equipment," exhaust ducts and the back range barrier wall. The letter said that all of the ceiling and wall soundproofing insulation should be removed and then reinstalled after all the lead dust is removed. All of this work will be performed by Champion Environment, which bid $62,700 to win the contract over seven other companies. Gun range in jeopardy The safety precautions that will be taken during the cleanup not only include sealing off the basement from the rest of the building, but continuously monitoring the air quality of Prisco, which passed tests for airborne mold spore concentrations, total airborne dust particulate concentrations, total airborne fiber concentrations, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide concentrations and asbestos bulk material.
Link Posted: 10/6/2001 5:04:10 AM EST
All of these cleanup operations will end, at least temporarily, the use of the basement as a gun range, even when the lead dust is removed by late November. At that point, the Park District will decide whether it wants to spend the money necessary to restore the gun range, a cost that has not been estimated yet. Vaughan said that cost will not be the only factor in the district's decision. "Should a Park District have a facility where you can shoot guns?" asked Vaughan, who then added that he was uncomfortable with a public institution supporting such a facility and said it was permitted partly because the rifle club used the range when it was part of the former Marmion Military Academy complex before the building was converted into a community center in the 1970s. The temporary closure of the Prisco Center is a loss for East Aurora High School's National Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, according to Lt. Cmdr. Paul McNabb, who heads the program. Normally, East High's NJROTC practices at the site twice a week, over a nine-month period, and holds 10 rifle competitions there. "We're desperately in need of using it," McNabb said. "Right now, it's closed ... so we really have no other place to go." The Auroraland Rifle & Pistol Club is one of 26 local sports and activities groups co-sponsored by the Park District. The co-sponsoring arrangement is meant to benefit all parties because the district provides meeting rooms and ball fields to the groups, as well as publicity in brochures it mails to thousands of people. The co-sponsorees provide district residents a variety of opportunities for activities and use the Fox Valley Park District name. Non-sports groups that are co-sponsored do not have to pay the Park District any money to use district facilities. Sports groups are not charged any money if all of their members are Park District residents, while non-residents pay a $10 fee.
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