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DHHR building in downtown Parkersburg to be remediated for possible mold

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources building at 400 Fifth St., Parkersburg, is receiving a new outer shell to address leaking and will also undergo remediation for the potential presence of mold. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

PARKERSBURG — Already undergoing an exterior renovation to address leaks, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources building in downtown Parkersburg is about to be remediated for potential mold as well.

“We want to provide safe workplaces for our employees and for the citizens of the state that come into the building,” said Allan McVey, cabinet secretary of the West Virginia Department of Administration.

Scaffolding was erected outside the 400 Fifth St. building several weeks ago. An employee discovered mold inside some time after that, McVey said.

“We only found some small areas that were not the toxic type of mold you hear about in buildings,” he said.

Boggs Environmental, which has offices in Morgantown and Maryland, surveyed the entire building last week and found evidence of more mold, of a type that could potentially prove harmful, McVey said. An emergency purchase request for remediation has been put out, he said.

West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources employees Rose Victory, left, and Karla Leary work in the executive conference room on the second floor of the Parkersburg Municipal Building Friday. They are among the DHHR employees temporarily displaced until mold remediation at the agency’s Fifth Street building is complete. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

“I’m hoping it will be quick,” McVey said.

A variety of family assistance, early care and education and social services are offered from the offices, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Adult Protective Services and child care center licensing, as well as child support.

Some employees have been relocated within the building, while others in social services departments are temporarily working out of the executive conference room on the second floor of Parkersburg’s Municipal Building.

McVey said longer-term accommodations are being sought.

Evan Bevins can be reached at ebevins@newsandsentinel.com.

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