PARKERSBURG - Plans for the potential condemnation of the Civil Air Patrol building at the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport have been put on hold as Wood County officials try to determine the extent of structural damage.
Wood County Engineer Bill Brown told county commissioners Monday the building, which was being used by the Parkersburg detachment of the CAP as its classrooms/headquarters, has "serious roof conditions that may have resulted in growth of possible mold and or mildew within the building."
The CAP no longer meets at the facility, but the hangar is still used and part of building is still being used by the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department. The health department leases part of the facility for storage of emergency supplies.
Photo by Pamela Brust
Wood County engineer Bill Brown updated county commissioners on the condition of the Civil Air Patrol Building at the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport.
In addition to cots and other supplies that would be used in a disaster for mass housing/care, there are old doors, wall partitions and other materials that were removed from the former Public Debt building when the county renovated it into the new justice center. Officials said they wanted to save as many materials as possible for reuse, but there was no room in county facilities to keep them. There are also boxes of unassembled animal cages that would be used to evacuate and transport pets out of harm's way in a disaster.
The commissioners and MOVHD officials visited the building in mid-December and saw roof leaks and resulting water damage to the interior, including mold on the walls and other damage.
Brown noted the building, which is owned by the airport, has problems that need addressed under the county Abandoned and Dilapidated Building Ordinance, including roof leaks that have allowed water penetration, mold and mildew inside the building, broken windows and related issues.
"This situation could result in serious hazards with electrical and plumbing services within the structure," Brown said.
The county engineer advised, due to the potential mold and mildew, no one should be inside the facility until repairs are completed or other disposition of the building is decided.
Brown said a search for blueprints of the building turned up nothing.
"We don't know how it's constructed, so I just have to look at the symptoms," he said. Brown said he feels the hangar is repairable, but there are serious leaks in the roof. "Occupying the interior at this time could create a health problems, and clothing items stored in the area may be exposed to contamination by mold and or mildew," he said.
Brown said the building was constructed in 1971.
"My concern is with the structural integrity of the building. The roof leaks have to be repaired if the building is to be used again," Brown said.
Wood County officials said CAP members are meeting elsewhere pending disposition of the building.
Tim Miller with the MOVHD said the storage area has cement walls. "So while there are still leaks, there is not the mold potential on drywall in that part of the building," he said.
"The building is a convenient, central location for some groups to use for meetings; it has served the Civil Air Patrol well and the health department likes the central location for their threat preparedness supplies and equipment," Commissioner Blair Couch said. "It sounds like if repairs are completed on the roof, and the interior is cleaned out, it doesn't need to be condemned."
Brown said there are structural engineers in the area who have the proper safety equipment to get up on the roof and do the inspections and analysis then make recommendations.
The county engineer said he has provided resource contact information to airport manager Terry Moore.
Brown told the commissioners Monday he doesn't recommend condemning the hangar.
"I think the next step is to try and get some more information before a final decision is made," commission President Wayne Dunn said. "Originally action was going to be taken on March 15, but I think we need to look at the options." Dunn is the commission liaison to the airport authority board of directors.
"There are several organization that could be using the building if it can be restored to a useable state. Maybe we would be able to help in getting that done, if it could be done inexpensively," Dunn said.
"We just need to make it very clear that we don't own that building," Commissioner Steve Gainer said.
Couch said it appeared the building might still be useful and said he would be willing to hear a request for funding assistance if the cost was reasonable to repair the roof on the building.