Roosevelt County Courthouse reopens

By Christina Calloway
Senior writer
ccalloway@pntonline.com

All floors of the Roosevelt County Courthouse have been reopened with the exception of the basement, according to Ninth Judicial District Chief Judge Drew Tatum, after it was thoroughly cleaned following the discovery of mold in the building.

Tatum said Judge Donna Mowrer did not hold any court proceedings Monday or Tuesday as her staff continued to move their office back into the building, but it’s his understanding from Roosevelt County Manager Charlene Webb that they were allowed to return to the Courthouse Monday.

Webb was not immediately available for comment Tuesday.

The Courthouse underwent $170,000 of remediation, coming from the county’s emergency reserve funds, which included a thorough cleaning of the 76-year-old building in an attempt to rid the Courthouse of the eight types of mold discovered by a private lab consultant.

The report showed the most significant amount of mold being found in the District Court area.

“I mean they shut everything down,” Tatum said. “They replaced all the ceiling tiles. I know there was an intensive cleaning of all the Courthouse’s surfaces, anything exposed.”

There are 34 people who work in the building. Webb said in previous interviews there were no other alternatives to the remediation, which ensured public and employee safety.

Tatum said he didn’t know if any other measures needed to be taken but that it was his understanding that employees wouldn’t be let back into the Courthouse if it wasn’t safe by being cleared through another test of the facility.

“We’re getting unpacked,” Tatum said. “It’s a great effort and I’m happy with the response from the county.”