107 year-old former Fort Collins Elks Club bought by the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) for $2.8 million needs asbestos abatement and mercury demolition.

Fort Collins DDA seeks skilled contractors to remove asbestos fibers from the former Elks Lodge construction project.

Fort Collins, CO–Skilled contractors certified in asbestos abatement are working closely with the Fort Collins, Colorado Downtown Development Authority (DDA) http://www.downtownfortcollins.org/index.html to assess the 107 year old former Elks Lodge 804, on Remington Street before the demolition and removal of the structure can begin. Last year the DDA bought the building for $2.8 million to make way for a new Fort Collins hotel. Corporex, the original developer was unable to obtain financing for the renovation and hotel construction project leaving the old 50,000 square-foot building, which contains toxic asbestos and mercury materials, empty and awaiting its fate.

The National Center for Craftsmanship (NCC) in Fort Collins is participating in this massive community project. The NCC has begun assessing and identifying the various materials used in the Elks Lodge construction so toxic materials like asbestos and mercury can be properly removed and viable materials for reuse and recycling can also be restored. As reported by the Coloradoan.com construction and renovation experts believe some 75% of the building can be reused or recycled which will help the DDA obtain credits towards LEED accreditation. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) http://www.usgbc.org/Default.aspx a non-profit community of leaders working to make green buildings for everyone offers the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System. LEED certification gives building owners and operators tools they need to construct and renovate buildings which are environmentally responsible, profitable, and provide a healthy working and living environment for workers, employees, and residents.

The Fort Collins DDA wants to eradicate the toxic substances, like asbestos fibers, and properly deconstruct the current building. This will prepare the former Elks Lodge site for whatever building is constructed on the land in the future, which is undetermined at this time.

The Fort Collins community leaders are taking the opportunity to turn lemons into lemonade with this project by using the entire process as an opportunity for jobs, growth and eduction for local contractors, employees, residents, and students. Fort Collins, located 60 miles north of Denver and home to the 21,000 Colorado State University (CSU) student body is a prime market for such an initiative. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) http://www.epa.gov and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) http://www.osha.gov has determined no amount of asbestos exposure is safe for humans. When people are exposured to asbestos containing materials they can suffer serious injury from inhaling the toxic fibers. Asbestos can cause chronic illnesses like asbestosis and fatal cancers like mesothelioma. Through a large community effort, initiated by the DDA, local contractors specializing in asbestos abatement and organizations with Green building at heart will be able to take part in the project. Through leadership, education, and a passion for maintaining and promoting the overall welfare of Fort Collins’ residents and it’s environment, all the participants in the demolition of the former Elks Lodge will enjoy the sweet taste of lemonade from this community effort.

Colorado social responsibility eduction covering asbestos abatement by legal news reporter Heather L. Ryan.