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UW’s Old Stone Quarry Property for Sale

May 6, 2011

An old stone quarry that has been idle since 1988 and was used by the University of Wyoming to obtain sandstone for its campus buildings, is up for sale.

The 13.2-acre parcel of land is located approximately 10 miles northeast of UW off Rogers Canyon Road.

The university in 1928 purchased the stone quarry property from Warren Livestock Company to supply sandstone materials for UW buildings. Beginning in the 1940s, UW quarried sandstone from the property for many campus structures that were built during that time. UW's Physical Plant recommended in 1988 that the quarry be closed and all buildings were later removed.

Individuals and masonry/stone companies the last 20 years have approached UW about acquiring the property, says Douglas H. Vinzant, UW vice president for administration, but the requests were denied because the university had not been able to locate a reasonable substitute for sandstone materials.

He told UW Board of Trustee members Friday that UW's Facilities Planning Office has recently identified several quarry locations and vendors that can supply suitable sandstone building materials for university construction projects.

Vinzant says the quarry site has passed inspection since its closing.

The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WYDEQ) in 1989 approved the use of Abandoned Mine Land (AML) funding to remediate the quarry. WYDEQ in 1992 filed a Certification of Completion for reclamation, which included reduction of highwalls, construction of berming, placement of rock to control access and placement of warning signs.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in 1991 inspected the quarry to assess potential health and safety risks, which may have resulted from the disposal of radioactive waste at the site in the 1950s. A monitoring well was also installed.

No contamination was detected on the quarry property and potential health and safety risks were classified as negligible. The NRC detected no contamination of groundwater, violations, or deviations.  In 2002 the NRC completed an assessment of the burial site and concluded that environmental impacts were not significant and that the sites could be released for unrestricted use.

Revenue generated from the stone quarry sale can be used for other UW-related property purchases, Vinzant says.

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