Dr. Juan Blanco Ruiz, the architect and preservationist, read the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (i.e., Brownfield Report) prepared by Sam Schwartz Engineering and Integral Consulting in March 2016 to find the scope of the assessment subjects did not include asbestos, lead-based paint, radon, lead in drinking water, mold and ten other services. Given the armory was built in 1906 when these substances were commonly used or the conditions existed, Dr. Blanco Ruiz has few good words for the project.
“The Drill Hall’s roof is 1.2 acres in area. The cost of asbestos remediation would be monumental. It would cost as much as $50 million to replace the roof and it is not what they (BFC Partners) budgeted,” explains Dr. Ruiz. He discovered the presence of asbestos in the building “upon reading a professional journal published in 1906 which announced the completion of the armory”. In that article, they placed special pride in the use of new “fireproof mineral roofing cement”.