WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – A significant amount of mold is discovered in West Lafayette city hall forcing employees to relocate their offices.
In January, two water pipes in the West Lafayette city hall burst filling the basement with several inches of water. Fans were brought in to help dry the carpet and drywall. Shortly after West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis said employees started having a reaction to something in the air.
“So we had a company come in to give us sort of an overview of the air quality,” Dennis said. “As a result of that it came to the obvious conclusion that we’ve got a significant mold problem here that needs to be remediated.”
Dennis said the only way to solve this problem is to rip out all of the drywall in the basement and replace everything that’s behind it.
“Anybody who has ever done any work with drywall knows that once you start cutting drywall it basically sends dust everywhere,” Dennis said. “That dust will be containing mold spores that could aggravate allergies and respiratory problems.”
While crews work to repair the damaged walls everyone in city hall has to relocate. Dennis said many of the offices will move next-door to the police department.
“We will be relocating the Clerk Treasurers office to the second floor of the police department,” Dennis said. “They will still have an active window down at the records division of the police department.”
Some may have a temporary home somewhere else.
“We’ll probably have to find another remote location,” Dennis said. “We’re looking at the possibility of utilizing fire station house one. The engineers office is going to be another challenge because of the activity they have as far as the walk-in traffic goes with contractors.”
Meetings will also be relocated, but Dennis said they have not determined a location yet.
Dennis said the worst case scenario is if crews find more mold than expected when they start ripping out the drywall. He said if that’s the case it won’t be cost-effective to repair the building and plans to permanently relocate city hall will be expedited.