Future of Fire-Damaged White House Remains in Question
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- It's been 14 months since a fire destroyed the historic White Hall in Grand Junction, and officials are still deciding what to do with what's left of the building. One of the possibilities is demolition.
The Downtown Development Authority missed out on a chance for a significant grant to redevelop the undamaged education annex attached to White Hall.
Despite a state grant providing $85,000 to help the city of Grand Junction demolish the asbestos-ridden, badly-damaged sanctuary portion of White Hall, the DDA still has to wait to clean out the asbestos in the annex.
The executive director of the DDA drafted an application response to a Federal Environmental Protection Agency grant, which could have funded up to $200,000 in their clean-up efforts.
"The deadline for 2012 is Nov. 19. We're not in a position to act upon that grant cycle right now because in order for the DDA to secure that funding we would have to take title to the property," said Weiss.
However, the DDA's agreement with the city of Grand Junction says they cannot take possession of the annex until the sanctuary has been demolished.
As of right now, the city is still waiting on the approval of a special permit, which would allow for the removal of the asbestos.
Weiss says the approval should come within the next few days, and demolition will take about two weeks.
In the meantime, Weiss and his staff are working to brainstorm ideas for the existing part of the building.
Weiss said, "One of the things that's very high on our list of potential uses of this property is for it to be converted to housing."
Since the building is three stories tall, Weiss says it lends itself to apartment-style housing; however, he hasn't ruled out light retail or office space either.
Weiss said he is also looking to get the public's opinion on the building's use as well.