A second county building has been discovered to have mold problems that will require emergency abatement steps to ensure the occupants’ safety.
The Johnson County Commission learned last Thursday that its New Century AirCenter administration building near Gardner has mold growing in its basement and crawl space, a problem that will cost an estimated $135,700 to fix.
Apex Environmental Consultants confirmed the mold after airport officials raised concerns Aug. 11.
The area where the mold was found is not open to the general public and has no air handling vents to the main part of the building, said Assistant County Manager Joe Waters.
But it is the main entry point for electrical, fiber and data connections that need to be regularly serviced. It also is a storage area for the tenants. Waters estimated that about 10 percent of the building’s total space may be involved with the mold.
The building is home to the county airport board and administrative staff, Federal Aviation Administration employees and three private tenants.
The cleanup will require decontamination fog, a vapor barrier and leveling of dirt in the crawl space. Stored items like soft furniture and paper, which cannot be decontaminated, will have to be removed and thrown away, according to the abatement program.
The price tag of the removal would normally require a bidding process that takes about eight weeks, but commissioners decided to forgo it because of the health risk to the building occupants. Mold can cause potentially life-threatening respiratory problems in some people.
The removal process will be done by AT Abatement Service Inc. of Stilwell and may begin soon.
Mold decontamination is not new to the county.
The now-closed county museum in Shawnee had ongoing problems with water damage and mold that was never completely removed after being discovered in 2013. The county has had air monitoring equipment in the building as a safety precaution for the past two years. The museum will reopen next year in the remodeled King Louie bowling lanes in Overland Park, which will become the Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center.