Advertisement

Berkeley County studies 126 W. King St.

February 18, 2001

Berkeley County studies 126 W. King St.



By BOB PARTLOW / Staff Writer, Martinsburg


MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Last week saw another bad air day for Berkeley County government.

The Berkeley County Commission on Thursday learned its bad-air problems and the costs to fix them are continuing to mount in county buildings.

The roof of the county administrative building at 126 W. King St. is leaking badly, causing stagnant water to pool on the first-floor level, County Facilities Director Walt Davis told the Berkeley County Commission Thursday.

"It's contributing to the bad air," Davis said.

Repair costs for a new roof are estimated at about $25,000, he said. That comes on top of other bills related to air problems at the building, which houses the commissioners, their staff and employees of the Berkeley County Assessor's Office.

Advertisement

A consultant's report has identified mold and bad air in the building, which may be causing allergy problems among some employees. Air cleaners operate constantly to control the problem.

The consultants said a total fix of the problems at the 100-year-old building could cost upwards of $200,000. Believing the building may not be worth that much, the commissioners have voted to spend about $10,000 to pump in outside air to see if that works.

Now the county must wait until the roof is fixed to do that, said Commission President Howard Strauss. But they have not decided whether to fix the roof. That will await three bid estimates.

As problems and costs compound, the commissioners will have to decide whether they should continue to pour money into the old structure or replace it.

"It's not a junker yet," Strauss said of the building.

Davis said the county has no choice but to fix the problems if it wants employees to work there.

"If we don't get the problem solved, we can't have people working there," he said. "It could be used for storage, which we need, but that's all."

The county will soon begin testing for possible similar problems in the adjacent building at 110 W. King St. and at the Berkeley County Courthouse at 100 W. King St. They'll also begin working to fix radon problems at the county Health Department Building at 802 S. Queen St.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|