Historic building in Downtown Kennett evacuated due to mold

Sunday, July 29, 2012
The historic Bank of Kennett building pictured above has been evaucated due to the discovery of what is believed to be black mold. Staff photo by Chris Kaiser

One of Kennett's oldest buildings left standing on the square has been evacuated due to the discovery of black mold.

According to Dunklin County Commissioner, Don Collins, the building that houses the Public Defender's office as well as the Juvenile offices, was found to have what is believed to be black mold inside of it.

Around the later part of June, the mold was discovered following an ongoing water leak from the air conditioning drain and a roof leak. The leaks led to the moisture leading to the mold spores, discovered inside of the building. Employees at the offices suspected mold where the leak was discovered.

After testing the building for mold, the results came back positive, according to Collins.

Due to the finding of mold, the offices that had resided in the building have been in the process of moving to a new location.

Collins said the offices are still in the process of moving to the new locations.

The occupants have been advised to only to remove the contents of the building, and employees continue to enter the premises with permission. To enter, the employees must wear a facial mask to protect them from breathing in the contaminated air, and may only stay for brief increments.

Every item that exits the building is being cleaned as it is being moved.

The future and the decisions made in regards to the building and whether the offices will return is unknown at this time.

The Public Defender's office and the Juvenile offices are moving to a building at 1087 Commerce Drive, behind Ozark Gas. The University of Missouri extension has relocated to a strip mall located at 233 North Main Street in Kennett.

At this time, surrounding buildings are not believed to be threatened by the finding of the mold.

Illnesses have not been reported in relation to the mold spores.

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