Health Department building has myriad of serious problems

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

By Ivory Riner

Staff Writer

Mold is growing on the walls and the tiled floors.

The electricial is vastly inadequate.

Workspace and patient rooms are small and overcrowded.

Doors don't latch properly.

Not all hallways are wheelchair accessible.

Those are some of the problems with the Marshall County Health Department building, located at 206 Legion Street in Lewisburg.

And finding a suitable solution -- either extensive rennovation or replacement -- was the subject of Thursday's Marshall County Building Committee meeting.

The building sits on a five-acre lot, which gives the committee the option to tear down the existing building and construct a new one on the lot.

Although architect James Kennon of Kennon Calhoun Workshop isn't opposed to building a new facility, he said it will cost a lot of money to tear down the brick on the building.

Replacing the leaking roofs on the Courthouse Annex, Sheriff's Department and Lewisburg jail are key issues, along with the health department renovation, according to Marshall County Mayor Joe Boyd Liggett.

Liggett said the main issue with the health department is foundation damage and the lack of space.

Angie Faulkner, Marshall County Health Department director, and Mary Campbell, office supervisor, raised issues with the building during the committee's January meeting.

Faulkner reported she had to have her door shaved down after repeatedly being stuck in her office as a result of the ceiling being crooked and pressing down on the door frame. Patients weren't able to change into their gowns because the building was so cold. She said the central heat didn't work and the use of space heaters wasn't an option because they blew the circuit.

After an inspection on the building, Kennon showed the committee the refrigerator in the building that Faulkner had to purchase to hold vaccinations, which have to be at a certain temperature. After its purchase, Faulkner installed an air conditioner to keep the refrigerator from overheating. But when both are plugged in, they trip the circuit breakers.

During his inspection, Kennon found mold growing on the walls and tiled-floor of the building and limestone falling from the exterrior. The front door has a gap so it isn't able to latch properly and the hallways aren't wheelchair accessible.

"The building is small, out of date and not ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] accessible," Kennon said.

He found that in each patient's room, there was a desk and computer where the nurses enter the patient's information, which he guessed would be a code violation.

Kennon is to present an appraisal detailing the costs of repairing the health department building or constructing a new one at Thursday night's Building Committee meeting.