NORTHFIELD CENTER — Township Hall operations returned to normal Friday after the building was shut down for more than three days for some remediation of pathogenic mold.
Township administrator Steve Wright said an air quality expert inspected the building May 13 and detected the presence of pathogenic mold. So for safety reasons, officials decided to shut down the building temporarily.
Township secretary Judy Flauto reported that a firm fogged and sanitized the inside of the building May 16 to kill any airborne mold or pathogens, and a zoning board meeting took place in the building that evening.
The building was reopened to staff and the public the next morning. Flauto said a large industrial fan was placed in a window and will remain there for a week or two, and some smaller fans are being used for ventilation purposes.
During the shutdown, Township Hall staff operated out of the service department building, which is located at 8484 Olde Eight Road. Wright said the temporary move to the service facility did not hinder township operations.
Township officials have been aware for some time that there are asbestos and mold issues in the basement of Township Hall — built in 1905 — and are rounding up quotes for long-term remedies.
“What we did last week is not a long-term fix,” Wright said. “Once we get quotes, we’ll have to decide what to do in the basement.”
Trustees called a special work session Monday to further discuss what to do about the asbestos and mold problems.
Meanwhile, township officials invited residents to a forum Thursday so they can provide opinions about the future of Township Hall, the fire station and park and recreation facilities. The session will begin at 6 p.m. at the Nordonia Hills Branch Library on Olde Eight Road
Options for future facilities include renovating Township Hall, demolishing it and building or buying another structure, and building a new fire station.
“What we hope to do is a renovation, if it’s feasible and cost-effective,” said Wright. “Of course, we want to choose the most cost-effective option.”
Trustee Russ Mazzola said Township Hall is “an important building to the township, but it’s just facing a lot of issues,” while Trustee Rich Reville added that the building, including drain pipes, has not aged well.
Wright said drainage issues have caused flooding in the basement, which in turn spawned mold and severe structural damage. He added the township is seeking grants to help fund improvements.
For more than 100 years, Township Hall has hosted community meetings, dances and theatrical productions. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Editor Eric Marotta contributed to this story. Reporter Ken Lahmers can be reached at 330-541-9400, ext. 4189 or firstname.lastname@example.org.