EPA Presents $400,000 Grant to Goodwin College
Thanks to two large grants from the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, Goodwin College has key funding in place to continue its “College Town” expansion and Main Street revitalization efforts.
On Thursday, May 30, the EPA New England Administrator Curt Spalding delivered a very big check (literally and figuratively) for cleanup of a former gas station at 361-363 and 365-367 Main St. Local and federal officials, including U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, Congressman John Larson, and East Hartford Mayor Marcia Leclerc, were on hand as the College accepted $400,000 in grant funds. The event took place at the site where the funds will be utilized.
The funds will be used for cleanup and remediation of the sites, which until 2012 were the home of A&P Auto Sales located at the intersection of Main and Ensign Streets in a section of East Hartford that Goodwin and other organizations have been working to redevelop and improve.
“This part of town is right on the cusp of changing into something special,” said Goodwin President Mark Scheinberg.
Goodwin has been extremely successful with brownfield cleanup and redevelopment. Its River Campus sits on the site of former oil storage tanks, and with the help of local, state, and federal funding, the College transformed what was once a blighted and tax delinquent property into one of East Hartford’s most beautiful developments.
“Goodwin College has certainly given us back our waterfront and they are going to develop to give us back our Main Street,” Leclerc said.
Spalding presented the check on behalf of the EPA. He credited Scheinberg for his leadership and the hard work of the Goodwin grant writers, who present applications that make strong cases for the College’s remediation efforts. He explained that the grant process is very competitive.
“They win these grants,” said Spalding. “They are not just given them.“
Larson, a native son of East Hartford, said that he is proud of the collaboration existing between key partners of the community, such as Goodwin College, Pratt & Whitney, and Town Hall.
“This continued collaboration is going to move this country forward,” Larson said.
Blumenthal praised efforts that are being made throughout the state and region in brownfield remediation. He said brownfields are miraculous in taking properties that were polluted and blighted and reclaiming them for positive development. He congratulated the College and the EPA for their efforts.
“They’re doing a service not only for themselves but for the entire state of Connecticut,” said Blumenthal.
Goodwin will begin site remediation on the late summer or early Fall. Preliminary concepts call for a mixed-use building which may house retail, commercial businesses and possibly space for college offices and classrooms. Goodwin College plans to submit designs to the Town and seek planning and zoning approvals sometime in 2014.