April 28, 2009
Charlotte, NC-- Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department closed its 521 Recreation Center yesterday afternoon at 4pm, after it received an assessment of mold spores in the air inside the building. The recreation center is at 11401 Ardrey Kell Road in a structure that was formerly part of the Elon Home for Children.
"We closed the building to be proactive and cautious," said Jeff Robinson, Director of Specialized Park Services. Robinson said a study of air quality in the building was undertaken by EMSL Analytical, Inc. after staff reported a musty smell in the recreation center. Three full time and two part-time Park and Recreation staff were assigned to the building and are now working at other locations. Robinson said Park and Recreation received no health complaints from either staff or from the public. Park and Recreation closed the building within two hours of receiving a report of the analysis.
Programs scheduled inside 521 Recreation Center have been cancelled or relocated to other Park and Recreation facilities until remediation is undertaken. The YMCA After School Program, for instance, was diverted Monday afternoon to Elon Park Elementary School, and a fencing class was conducted in the yard, rather than inside the building. Outside programs at the center may continue. Other programs are being rescheduled as quickly as possible
The recreation center is a structure of 12,416 square feet, built in 1972, mainly of concrete block construction. Mecklenburg County purchased the property and building in 2001. Park and Recreation recently had a new roof installed after leaks were reported and repaired. Park and Recreation officials will meet today with a contractor who specializes in mold and air quality issues to conduct further analysis and to recommend a plan for remediation of mold issues in the recreation center.
Park and Recreation will provide recorded updates by late today at 704 540-2426 about programs scheduled at 521 Recreation Center.