Spartanburg Co. Council votes to keep using current county courthouse

Spartanburg Co. Courthouse (FOX Carolina/ Feb. 27, 2018)

Leaking pipes, mold of various types, and an urging to, once again, remediate -

The findings were among the highlights in an extensive 128-page report by assessment team from Atlanta-based CGCI Management in a thorough inspection of the Spartanburg County courthouse.

The building itself has had a history of mold. Despite repeated attempts to clean it up, it has kept coming back.

The report features pictures of pipes which CGCI said are on the verge of failing. The report found some of those pipes had leaks, which results in mold.

"That's a mess," said Shelli Bagwell, with Spartanburg-based PuroClean, which specializes in cleaning buildings after disasters. Bagwell said mold cleaning has been in high demand, though PuroClean itself has not been involved in remediation efforts at the courthouse.

FOX Carolina showed the CGCI report to Bagwell, which highlighted several kinds of mold detected. The findings found the likes of stachybotrys (black-colored mold), chaetomium (a contaminant), aspegillus/penicillum (a mold that can affect the respiratory system), ulocladium (a dark pigmented fungus which can result in hay fever or asthmatic-like symptoms), and cladosporium (a common allergen which can result in a condition known as "hot tub lung").

"It shouldn't be there in those quantities, at those levels, and some (of the mold) shouldn't be there at all," said Bagwell. "Some of those you expect to see in an outdoor environment. You should never see them in an indoor environment."

The report's findings come just one day after Spartanburg County council decided to keep employees in the building. Plans had been in place for courthouse offices to move to a temporary location, but county leaders said the deal fell through.

"Employees and those who occupied the courthouse were excited about moving," said Carlos Johnson, attorney for the Clerk of Court. "But without much explanation at all, that vote was overturned."

On Monday, Spartanburg County Councilman Bob Walker said of the plan to keep employees inside, "For us to spend that type of money and for us to not have any response from it, in the sense that once it's spent and once we do a remediation or a remodeling for a building, it's basically money that's gone."

This news also comes as an state OSHA report found similar findings to the CGCI report.

When asked Wednesday evening about the new findings, Walker, who had seen the OSHA report, said he stood by his vote to keep employees in the current courthouse while further renovation and remodeling is occurring.

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