Jackson County Times

Top Story News

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mold Emergency At the New Emergency Operations Complex

It can withstand a 150 MPH wind, but mold is threatening it. By Sid Riley

On Tuesday afternoon the Board of County Commissioners, Susan McDonough, a special consultant on air quality and health physics hired by the county, officials from the construction company, White Rock Construction, Mrs. Daily, a recognized expert on mold, Paul Donofro Jr. and Paul Donofro Sr. of Paul Donofro and Associates, and Shawn Heath, their Attorney, spent two and a half hours in a special workshop. They met in an attempt to analyze the extent of the mold problem which has developed at the new EOC center building, to determine the causes, to develop remedies, and to determine who was going to pay for the problem.

The consultant hired by the County, Susan McDonough delivered a power point presentation which displayed the horrors of the situation with visual displays of mold throughout many areas of the facility. Her report suggested that in order to properly correct the problem and clean the facility from the dreaded fungus, much of the interior would have to be ripped out. Some estimated costs exceeded one million dollars. “The county bought and paid for a new building, with a long useful life, and they are entitled to have one provided by those who designed and built it,” she stated.

On the other hand, Mrs. Daily, the consultant hired by the construction company and Donofro and Associates, stated that the problem was relatively harmless and trivial. She stated that mold existed in a large percentage of buildings, especially in the South. She explained that we encounter mold continually, especially in the outdoors. “When you toil the soil as a gardener you are exposed to unbelievably high levels of mold,” she stated. “Most people can live with and around mold with no resulting problems, however occasionally there is a person who is highly sensitive in this area, and problems do develop.

They discussed the design of the air conditioning ducting systems in the facility, the metal roof, placement and types of insulation, the causes of condensation as a hot roof encounters a cool interior with the dew point and humidity indexes all combining to create moisture….which leads to the development of mold.

In the final outcome of the meeting, the decision was made to accomplish the recommended temporary, immediate recommendations, which included (1) repairing drill holes which had been made in the roof as testing for mold was conducted, (2) installing dehumidifiers in the overhead areas, and (3) repairing a leaking storm drain pipe. Meanwhile, at attorney Frank Baker’s recommendation, a “Notice of Claim” was issued by the county against the builder and the architectural designers, White Rock Construction and Donofro and Associates.

Future meetings will be held to determine a course of action……stay tuned.

No comments:

Post a Comment