SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Staff at the Spartanburg County Courthouse are wearing masks after hearing the results on the health of the building.
“I’m sure it’s this mold and everything that’s in here. I mean I’m just constantly rubbing my eyes. They’re just itching,” said county employee, Kimberly McKinney.
McKinney told us how her office floods when rainwater leaks thorough the windows and ceiling.
“The problem is the building, we can all agree to that,” she said.
Clerk of Court Hope Blackley showed us photos of the flooding and the mold that comes after. She’s been pushing the county to take action for two years.
“This particular courtroom, I’ve had a judge, just a couple of weeks ago say, you know, I can’t go back in there, I feel sick every time I go in there.”
The photos show how the air vents in that room were covered in black.
Even after being replaced, the recent indoor environmental quality investigation revealed “Microbial contamination within the wall cavity” of the courtroom.
The Solicitor’s wing has elevated levels of mold in the air.
Judge Turner’s room has toxic black mold in the walls.
But what concerns employees the most is the fact that there are spores in the HVAC system.
We talked with the President of JMAC Environmental, John McNamara, who said “It’s possible for a mold bloom to occur and to be blown into and through the supply ducts, and that’s also past the filtration.”
The Jury is out on whether the county will need a new courthouse altogether some day. But for now, it’s agreed to put up $300,000 toward the mold remediation.
“We’ve got to do something about the structure itself,” Blackley said.
She says she’s glad to see progress, but concerned the fix may be more a band-aid than a permanent solution.