Asbestos and mold fears at Broward Courthouse
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- Something in the air has a number of judges at the Broward County Courthouse concerned.
The county is running tests in an old section of the building that has been plagued by problems. Part of the ninth floor of the building is being tested for mold and asbestos leaks from the ceiling tiles there after three judges insisted they be relocated over health concerns.
On Dec. 2, ninth floor judge Judge Cheryl Aleman died of an aggressive form of lung cancer at the age of 52. Now, three judges who shared neighboring chambers have moved to the second floor.
The old section of the courthouse was built in the fifties and has suffered an array of issues. Demolition for that section has been scheduled for the middle of this year. Mold in particular is suspected to be a part of the issue because of repeated flooding when it rains.
Tests will show not only if mold is a problem, but if asbestos, which is supposed to be contained, is also leaking on the ninth floor.
Court Administrator Carol Ortman said she hopes theses concerns do not spill over to more requests by judges for relocation. "I hope not because I don't have any more room," she said. "I actually found three places and moved people out to move these people in."
Clerk of Courts Howard Foreman said his department is taking these concerns very seriously. "The judges are concerned, the clerk's office is concerned, and when the reports come back, we'll be very interested in taking a good look at them to see whether that area is inhabitable again or not."
A new courthouse is scheduled to be built on 2014.
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