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Worker Cooperative Greenhouse To Be Built On Former Chapman Valve Site


A once badly contaminated former industrial site in Springfield, Massachusetts is going to be used to grow produce for local schools and hospitals.

The Wellspring Cooperative Corporation and the Springfield Redevelopment Authority Thursday announced a land purchase and redevelopment agreement for part of the property where the Chapman Valve plant once stood.

Wellspring co-director Fred Rose said construction will start soon to build a commercial greenhouse whose customers will include Baystate Medical Center and the Springfield Public Schools.

" We want it to be in Springfield because our mission is to create jobs in the city and this is a rare site to find in Springfield," said Rose.

The site once had significant radioactive contamination as a result of Chapman Valve’s role in producing nuclear weapons a half-century ago. 

The property underwent three separate environmental cleanups and the last of the buildings was demolished in 2009.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.