West Lafayette City Hall May Relocate Thanks to Extensive Mold

moldMold does not discriminate against any type of building when it chooses to grow. While it might be synonymous with dingy basements and even old bathrooms that aren’t properly cleaned, it can turn up anywhere. Government buildings might be the last place people would expect mold to grow, but in West Lafeyette, IN, a serious mold problem has been uncovered in City Hall.

Mold was originally discovered back in January during the cleanup of two ruptured pipes. The first burst on January 6 during the Polar Vortex and the second incident occurred on January 25. It was the second that uncovered the mold, as workers tried to repair damaged drywall.

“This is a prime example of why you need to make sure that your pipes are properly insulated,” explains Andrew, owner of Aqua Tech Waterproofing. “They should be monitored when cold snaps come, because extreme cold can cause pipes to expand and burst. Regardless of where you’re located, you never know when one of these cold snaps will occur.”

The final report won’t be completed until sometime this summer, but spore levels were found to be extremely high initially. As a result, the building was evacuated onFebruary 7.

“I didn’t think it was going to be this bad of a problem,” said Tecton Construction Management President Mike Witteveen.

Major John Dennis agrees. He said, “The mold issue is a little more significant than what we originally anticipated.”

In fact, the problem might be so severe that the building could be rendered useless entirely as it is not currently clear whether or not the mold problem can be fixed entirely.

“As anyone who has done any remodeling work at home, you know that if you put enough money into a project, you can make it as good as new again,” Mayor Dennis said. “But one of the unfortunate unique things of the city hall building is that the design is such, from what we’ve been told, that the mold would return. It’s the way it was constructed, the materials that were used.”

Currently, the offices that were in City Hall have been moved to temporary locations and there is the belief, at least from Dennis, that the building will never be used again.

“Our expectations are being somewhat diminished about ever being able to return to that facility,” he added.