WATERTOWN — Fencing has gone up in a downtown parking lot in preparation of a $2 million project to clean up some PCB environmental contamination found at the Watertown Family YMCA’s community center in a former call center on Arsenal Street.
Purcell Construction officials recently said that the fencing was needed for safety to keep people out of the work area while demolition work begins inside the 63,000-square-foot building at 146 Arsenal St.
The cleanup is slated to begin in October. The PCBs were found under the floor of the building and will be removed. Once that work is finished, the community center project should begin in January, Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency officials said two weeks ago.
The building will be converted into a facility with a six-lane lap pool, a separate full-size recreational pool, two full-size tennis courts with a running track above and several other amenities.
PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, were banned in the U.S. in 1979 because those chemicals are a health hazard. They were widely used in electrical equipment and hydraulic fluids and as lubricants.
The JCIDA, which still owns the building, is responsible for the cost of the remediation.