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WATERTOWN Officials discovered Tuesday that there is still work to do to finish the environmental cleanup of the long-awaited YMCA in an old Arsenal Street call center.

It should take less then a month to remove any remaining polychlorinated Biphenyls or PCBs from the floor in the 65,000-square foot building at 146 Arsenal St. Before construction can begin on the community centre project.

David J. Zembiec is the chief executive officer at Jefferson County Economic Development. He said Tuesday’s test results showed that more work needs to be done on the cleanup.

The results were discussed at a Tuesday afternoon meeting.

At this point, 10 squares of 642 that measured 10 feet by 10 foot will need to be completely removed. Mr. Zembiec stated that we cannot scrape down any further. Fill will be added after the entire floor has been resurfaced.

Mr. Zembiec will provide a more precise timeline in a few days. However, he anticipates that it will take place during the third week January depending on how long it takes pour, level, and set the new floor.

In August, the environmental cleanup of PCBs began to remove the material from the tiles of the buildings and cement floor.

The building will be converted to a facility with a six lane lap pool, separate full-size recreational pool, and two full-size tennis court with a running track above.

The final design for the YMCA’s community center project is still being developed by an engineering firm. Construction is scheduled to begin early next year.

Since last summer, the YMCA project was delayed while environmental cleanup work was completed using scarifying, which removes a layer at a time of cement.

The Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency (the JCEDs sister agency) continues to own the building, but will transfer it to the YMCA after testing has determined that the PCBs have been cleaned up.

See Also

The United States banned oily liquids and solids containing PCBs in 1979 due to potential health hazards.

An adhesive used for installing floor tiles in the building contained a PCB contaminated oil that leaked into the cement underneath.

The remediation costs of $2 million are borne by the JCIDA.

Paradigm Environmental Services in Watertown developed the remediation plan together with Sessler Environmental Services in Macedon, Wayne County. AAC, Rochester is currently completing the cleanup.

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