Auburn battling city hall mold

By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
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Wind and rain have combined with a 102-year-old brick building to create mold problems at Auburn’s city hall.

As a result, the city of Auburn is expecting to pay about $280,000 to get out much of the mold that has developed on plaster board in its walls, replace windows and repoint and seal exterior brickwork on the building’s south side.

Tests in October revealed several types of harmful mold spores growing in the wood and drywall along the interior walls on the south side of the building, building inspector Mark Piasente reported to the City Council at Monday’s meeting.

And while the mold growing inside the interior walls is not currently considered a hazard to city staff, it’s likely that spores will spread if left untreated, Piasente said.

Regas Group Environmental Consultants did the October study, recommending replacing windows to stop future water leaks. Also to be removed would be any water-damaged materials in the interior walls.

Aging mortar on the outside of the building was also identified as another path for water seepage into the building, which was constructed in 1915 and served as an elementary school until about 1990.

Andre’s Reliable Glass of Rancho Cordova was awarded the contract to replace existing wood and aluminum windows with new glass and anodized bronze frames. A total of 28 windows will be replaced.

The larger contract went to JM Environmental to remove water-damaged drywall and contaminated building materials.

A separate contract, expected to cost about $60,000, will be awarded at a later time to re-point and seal exterior masonry.

Still to come will be a separate project to deal with leakage issues at the Carnegie Library building. Funding for that work is to be considered in the city’s operating budget next year.