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DCTC dealing with asbestos in soil

Three years ago Dakota County Technical College bought 100 acres on its east end from the University of Minnesota. Two years ago the college started construction of a baseball field.

While construction crews moved dirt for the project, small pieces of non-friable asbestos turned up. Director of operations Paul DeMuth said the asbestos came from siding, which lined buildings the university demolished in 1995. Similar buildings with the same siding can be seen on the UMore land still today.

DCTC moved the asbestos and the dirt to another site on the campus. President Ron Thomas said afterwards they hired American Engineering Testing to test the site. They tested down to two feet and found no more asbestos. So the school continued with construction of the ball field.

However, what to do with the pile remains a concern. Thomas said the school is waiting for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to provide mitigation directions.

Thomas said he is confident the baseball site is safe and said the college will take care of the asbestos found. It is not yet clear how much asbestos was on the property, but Ames Construction removed 20,000 yards of soil from the field site.

"I think it's minimal," said DeMuth of the asbestos.

The pile of asbestos-laden dirt lies about a quarter-mile from property where the city of Rosemount intends to build an athletic complex. The pile's presence led to a delay in the first phase of construction on the complex because of concerns from the planning commission.

Assured that there was no asbestos on the city's site and that the likelihood of it transferring from the DCTC pile to the city site was slim the planning commission approved the site plan during their March 24 meeting.

The city's plans call for four softball/little league fields and one large baseball field for high school and college age players. The complex will also include a concessions/restroom/storage building. The complex will be built in phases. Grading for phase one will begin this spring and will include two little league/softball fields and an 84-stall parking lot. The fields should be playable by next summer.

The DCTC field is nearing completion. Thomas said the DCTC field will be used by the Blue Knights baseball team and community teams.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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