AP NEWS

DHHR closed during remediation

September 27, 2018

WAYNE — Work to remove mold from a closed state Department of Health and Human Resources office in Wayne County is expected to begin within a week and employees may be back in the building within about three weeks, according to an agency official.

The building has been closed since Aug. 30 because of the presence of mold. Employees of that office have been working at various off-site locations.

“There is a plan in place for professional remediation work inside the building to begin within the next week so employees can safely return to work in the next two to three weeks,” DHHR Director of Communications Allison Adler said Wednesday.

“Additionally, the landlord will be working to correct the exterior conditions, which led to the high moisture levels within the building, and upgrading the foundation of the older section of the building to minimize the possibility of conditions favorable to the growth of mold from occurring in the future,” she said.

For now, the office remains closed and Adler said the staff remains in “alternate locations.”

The initial inspection conducted by Astar Abatement Inc. found multiple areas of mold inside the building.

According to Roger Pritt, president and CEO of Astar, the company will also do a final inspection once repairs are complete, but were not hired to do the remediation project. He said SERVPRO in Huntington is handling repairs.

“I wouldn’t say there was a lot of mold. There were a couple areas of concern, but it should all be handled pretty easily,” Pritt said.

“We aren’t in charge of repairs, just inspections. It can be a tedious process and takes some time to be done right, but it shouldn’t be too much of a hassle for them.”

SERVPRO in Huntington confirmed the company is in charge of the remediation project but provided no further comment.

In the meantime, a memo on the public entrance of the building says those seeking immediate service during normal business hours can visit one of the region’s other offices in Huntington, Williamson or Hamlin.

Alternate phone lines for assistance are DHHR Customer Services: 877-716-1212; DHHR Abuse/Neglect Hotline: 800-352-6513; and the DHHR Cabell County office: 304-528-5800.

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