Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Future bleak for Civil Air Patrol facility

WILLIAMSTOWN - The former National Guard building at the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport has been called uninhabitable after structural and other issues were noted by the Wood County engineer.

Bill Brown, county engineer, told officials with the Parkersburg Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol, which now inhabits the facility, the building needs to be closed.

"I inspected the building and it is uninhabitable with structural and mold and mildew problems," Brown said. "If this was a private building in the county, I would condemn it at this point - mainly because of the mildew and mold."

He added while the structural issues with the building are a problem, the bigger issue comes from the health risks associated with the mold.

"The danger is not what we see, but what we don't see," Brown continued.

Mold and mildew is a problem in the building because the roof has a severe leaking problem and with water getting inside and heat, it has grown uncontrollably.

Maj. Sixto Velez, squadron commander for the Parkersburg Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol, said the organization left the facility last week, following Brown's inspection, and is now using other airport space for weekly meetings.

"My biggest fear is the hazard the building is for people slipping or falling," Velez said. "I now go in once a week to clean up water, but we no longer use the building; we are done there."

Brown said the issues that make the facility uninhabitable aside from the mold and severely leaking roof include warped doors, broken windows and several county building codes that are not met.

"It is a danger for people to be inside the building," he said.

Airport manager Terry Moore said from the airport's stance, the best thing to do is to condemn the building, which removes any liability from the airport if someone gets hurt while there.

Brown said the building could be condemned as early as next week, but Velez argued it will take several weeks to organize and remove much-needed and valuable equipment.

"Because of the security of this building I have taken so much time to condemn it," he said. "Because of the limited access and it is not open to the public, we can take the time needed by the Civil Air Patrol."

The building will likely be closed on March 15.

Because the attached hangar is not in as bad a shape as the rest of the facility, it will remain accessible to the Civil Air Patrol.


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