The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced the Mt. Carmel Wellness and Community Center will receive a $998,770 Brownfields Cleanup Grant, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to clean up and restore the former Holy Trinity Convent and School at 237 Church Street in Trinidad, Colorado. The property is contaminated with asbestos, lead paint, inorganic contaminants and heavy metals.
EPA’s award to Mt. Carmel Wellness and Community Center is among six Brownfields grants totaling nearly $4.78 million announced today for cleanup and revitalization projects in communities across Colorado.
“This Brownfields cleanup project will remove harmful contaminants and restore a vital property in historic downtown Trinidad,” said EPA Regional Administrator KC Becker. “We look forward to the redevelopment of the site as new housing, hotel and restaurant space, contributing to the vitality of the community.”
“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is helping clean up and revitalize communities across Colorado,” said U.S. Senator Michael Bennet. “With this funding, Buena Vista, Pueblo, Telluride, Silverton, San Luis and Trinidad can make sure these sites are safe for the families living near them and restore them in ways that meet the communities’ needs.”
The EPA funds are part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda to expedite the assessment and cleanup of brownfield sites in while advancing environmental justice through the Multipurpose, Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (MARC) Grant programs. Thanks to the historic boost from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this funding is the largest ever by the EPA’s Brownfields MARC Grant programs.
“Our mission at Mt. Carmel Wellness and Community Center is to provide integrated healthcare, wellness and community spirit and to promote and create social and cultural opportunities in Las Animas County and the City of Trinidad through partners,” said Gerald D. Cimino, Founder and Chairman of the Board Mt. Carmel Wellness and Community Center. “The EPA is one such partner. We are so thankful and excited to receive this grant. Workforce housing is a necessary component to building a stronger community and in promoting growth in southeastern Colorado. Thank you again from all of us at Mt. Carmel Wellness and Community Center, the City of Trinidad, Las Animas County and southeastern Colorado.”
Mt. Carmel Wellness and Community Center will use the EPA grant to clean up the 53,477‐square‐foot vacant building, which operated as a school starting in 1873 and later as both a school and convent until it closed in 2004. Once cleanup is completed the building will be restored as apartments and a hostel and bar/restaurant, including more than 30 new guest rooms. The plan will create a vibrant, mixed‐use building on a currently abandoned site.