More mold removal at Spartanburg Co. courthouse as employees continue to suffer health issues

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The Spartanburg County Courthouse is undergoing another round of mold cleanup. It’s the fourth in the last two years.

Today we spoke with workers and the county about the ongoing problem.

After the first major mold cleanup at the Spartanburg County Courthouse in 2016 environmental consultants told the county it would likely return in 3 years.

6 months later there was another round of cleanup.

And since then, there have been two more, including work over the last week that shut down the family court area and the clerk of court’s office.

“The bandaid is not working,” said Justin Wheeler who has worked out the courthouse for 6 years.

He’s one of many workers who have had to relocate to a cramped room in the basement.

“We can’t really serve the people the way we should be able to with this process but it’s also inconvenient to the people who have to come to the courthouse whether it be for court or for jury duty,”said Abigail Gowdy, another courthouse employee.

Both Gowdy and Wheeler said they suffer from constant respiratory and other health issues they believe are mold related.

Clerk of Court Hope Blackley who is taking a new job in the new year, remains concerned for her staff.

“I hope that the next clerk of court understands fully how important this is to staff that works here in this facility as well as constituents in Spartanburg County,” said Blackley.

Over the past 2 and a half years the county has spent more than $1 million dollars to fix the courthouse. Earlier this year it abandoned plans to move to a temporary facility which would have cost more than $13 million.

The County is now facing a mold related lawsuit from employees, and while the county cannot comment on the pending litigation, Deputy County Administrator James Hipp said the county is continuing with efforts to keep employees safe and healthy.

“We have said and we continue on this road that we would have 2 direct analysis done, that would be the HVAC and the building envelope and we employed 2 direct consultants to do that and they are almost completed with their review,” said Hipp.
     
Meanwhile the county is still on schedule with plans for the new courthouse which should be completed by 2022.  Here’s a link to that timeline.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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