Mold problem shuts down Bobby Andrews Recreation Center

Published 9:42 pm Friday, January 8, 2016

The Washington youth basketball season has been temporarily derailed due to mold in the Bobby Andrews Recreation Center. The center, located on East Seventh Street, is the league’s site for practices and games, as well as a place to play basketball for many other members of the community.

The problem was discovered recently when the city was working on renovations to the recreation center’s roof.

“Once we got into it, we realized it had trapped some moisture,” said City Manager Bobby Roberson. “We actually moved all of that out and completed the new roof and repairs. When we did that, there was some existing moisture because of the leak. When the humidity got up, we did have some mold exposure in there.”

Because of the problem, the recreation center has been shut down for the time being. Roberson said that members of the city management staff have gone out to get a first-hand look at the mold. They have brought out professionals to assess the damages and make estimations. It is also on the city council’s agenda.

It is not yet confirmed how long it will take and how much it will cost to fix. Roberson expects the recreation center to be closed for about another week.

“We’ve never had that before inside the structure for the number of years that it’s been there,” Roberson said. “It’s unfortunate to know that moisture was trapped and we didn’t know about it. We didn’t know about it until we opened up the roof and that’s been the problem for us.”

Now that the city is assessing the damages and moving forward with ridding the recreation center of the mold, Roberson hopes to take more proactive steps to prevent such problems from occurring again. One thing the city is looking at is adding a dehumidifier.

“Once the moisture is trapped and the heat rises, it creates an atmosphere for mold. We’ve got to be careful about that,” Roberson said. “We’re going to get those recommendations and implement those.”

In the meantime, Kristi Roberson, the city’s parks and recreation director, have been working with league President Yolanda Parker to relocate practices and games. Beaufort County schools have been helpful in the process of keeping the season alive by lending their facilities to the league. The Ed Tech Center gymnasium and Boys and Girls Club of Beaufort County have both been made available for practices and games.

Parents and players can touch base with Parker and their respective coaches to get more information regarding where games and practices have been relocated.