LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

WAXHAW, N.C. -- A mold problem shut down Waxhaw Town Hall, and employees have been relocated out of potential health concerns.

The mold and moisture is on walls, floors, wood, ceiling tiles and air vents, official said.

The problem was likely around for a while, but only recently discovered after former town manager Mike McLaurin retired and someone moved his furniture.

That led to a check of the entire building.

It was more prevalent throughout the building than we initially realized, said Waxhaw Mayor Daune Gardner.

About a third of the building is considered contaminated.

Crews in white suits already cleaned much of it up, but some offices within the building are still sealed off with blue tape. A sign on one of the doors says Area 51 .

The culprit is worn-out metal leaving gaps in the roof where water soaked in.

The contaminant grew from leaking outside, getting in joists, behind walls, things like that, said employee Nicholas Bahnweg, who has an office inside the building at 317 N. Broome Street.

There are no reported illnesses, but the town is considering testing employees just to be safe.

[To] make sure it's completely safe before we put people back in the building, Gardner said.

Affected employees, who are part of the town s administrative division, are now working out of the brand new, recently opened, $8 million Waxhaw Police Department.

Employees brought some town records there Tuesday morning.

Luckily we had that room, so they ran into a bad situation and we're able to help them out, said Lt. Bobby Haulk with the Waxhaw Police Department.

The new police department still has that fresh paint and new carpet smell.

The big question now is what to do with the building?

Mold remediation and building renovation cost estimates range from roughly $100,000 to $150,000 dollars, Gardner said.

Town leaders meet Friday to figure it out what to do with the building and whether it fits in with town and staff needs.

Read or Share this story: http://www.wcnc.com/story/news/local/2014/07/21/11810384/