Roderick Ireland Courthouse remains closed over mold concerns | News


Hampden County Hall of Justice generic 040219

Western Mass News photo

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — The Roderick Ireland Courthouse in downtown Springfield remains closed after visible mold was found growing throughout the building and state officials said it will stay that way for the rest of the week. Tonight, we are hearing from another employee of the building whose operations have been moved remote due to the ongoing health problems.

The main channel for justice in Hampden County is closed for a second day, but at Western Mass News, the floodgates for pictures of the mold problem are open. We’ve received more images from different locations within this courthouse of the mold problem and other issues that have employees concerned about juvenile court too.

“I haven’t tried to go into the building,” said Hampden County Register of Probate Rosemary Saccomani.

Court officers at the Roderick Ireland Courthouse in Springfield had a different job Thursday morning. Instead of maintaining order in the court, they were turning people away from it. The building has been closed since midday Wednesday when visible mold was discovered growing inside.

Over the last 24 hours, Western Mass News has received picture after picture not only of mold in vents, but on walls and other surfaces like chairs. There’s also peeling paint and dust build-ups. State officials said they’ve sent an abatement company to assess the building after the Hampden District Attorney evacuated his staff from their offices.

However, Saccomani isn’t satisfied. She told western mass news she didn’t try to enter the building. At this point, she isn’t sure she wants to.

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — The Roderick Ireland Courthouse in downtown Springfield was forced to close Wednesday afternoon due to environm…

“I’m reluctant to have my staff come back in and have the public come back,” Saccomani added.

The building’s environmental safety has been studied multiple times in light of past emloyees contracting serious illnesses like ALS and cancer. Having worked in the courthouse for three decades, Saccomani said the recent mold is like the rotting cherry on top of years of health concerns, especially for those with allergies.

“Those people are more apt to have symptoms, so the sick leave rate goes up. People are calling out sick because they don’t feel good,” Saccomani explained.

A source within nearby juvenile court told Western Mass News they are still open. We received pictures of roaches and peeling paint inside that building where the D.A. also evacuated employees Wednesday.

State Senator Adam Gomez said all the workers in the court system deserve more than a surface-level fix.

“We knew that mold was already in this building and it took too long for this to happen, so I know that myself and the rest of the delegation, we’re going to be advocating strongly to make sure that there’s a permanent solution,” Gomez said.

In addition to the court being closed for the rest of the week, state officials also confirm that chemical remediation of the mold is their next course of action. They said it will last throughout the weekend.

Saccomani said for probate court, everything from divorce paperwork to child support hearings have been moved to a remote setting. Those needing probate court business can reach the office virtually at 646-828-7666 or ID: 1600 424 858.

Also, Chicopee District Court will handle civil matters and Westfield District Court will handle criminal matters.

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