GLASGOW – Barren County was notified a few months ago it had preliminary approval for a grant that would fund demolition of the former Barren County Corrections Center along Ford Drive.
The building, mostly constructed in 1975, was replaced several years ago with the Barren County Detention Center along Samson Street. The county had paid off its debt on the old building in 2017, and it had hoped to find a buyer, but that didn't happen.
The federal grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is geared toward removal of blighted property, and several more steps were required before the county can proceed with the actual work. Among those was an environmental assessment – what impacts the destruction of the building could have on its surroundings. That assessment has been completed through the Barren River Area Development District and is now available for public viewing and feedback at the judge-executive's office on the third floor of the Barren County Government Center.
According to the study, upon completion of the project, the site will be converted to green space until a decision is made on how to utilize the property. The 19,431-square-foot building has multiple safety issues as it sits now.
“The building is subject to mold, so the County has to run air handlers to keep the mold out of it. Additionally, the structural block walls are separating and cracking,” the report states. “The County feels the safe and most economical approach is to demolish the structure.”
The report notes that the presence of asbestos is anticipated, but debris removal will be done in compliance with national standards, and no lingering effect or adverse impact to the environment is anticipated.
A legal notice has been arranged to appear in Barren County's newspaper of record, the Glasgow Daily Times, and submitted to other relevant parties advising members of the public that the county plans to request on or about Aug. 21 the release of the funds that would be funneled through the Kentucky Department for Local Government and that they have the right to submit comments disagreeing with the environmental review record. The written comments are to be addressed to the Department for Local Government, Office of Federal Grants and must be received by Sept. 5.