Community center will be all clean for campers

Mold remediation work at the Jamesport Community Center will be completed before July 1, allowing the town to start several popular summer programs there on time, according to town engineer Ken Testa.

Officials had expressed concern that the job wouldn’t be done by July after a four-day bidding process got no responses.

The work, he said, will cost about $5,000 more than anticipated because a moldy, hidden bathroom that nobody knew about was discovered in the basement as the work began.

Dave Cullen, an aide to the supervisor, said the work will be finished by June 22, despite the discovery of the additional bathroom.

The bathroom, with two toilets, was used more than 25 years ago when the building was a school, and it could only be entered from outside the building, according to Mr. Testa.

“It’s absolutely covered with mold,” Mr. Cullen said. Mold-covered Sheetrock from the basement will need to be removed, he said.

The job is expected to progress quickly because Duraclean has been working day and night shifts, Mr. Cullen said.

Most of the mold in the Jamesport facility is in the basement, Mr. Testa said. The town closed the building in mid-April because the basement was flooded.

A popular summer camp program at the community center, attended by about 100 children, is set to begin the first week of July. A number of other programs are also held there, including exercise and dance classes, youth programs and meetings of the Riverhead Garden and Homemakers club and a bridge club, according to town recreation supervisor Ray Coyne.

Mr. Cullen said parents sending their kids to the facility need not worry about mold once the job is done.

“The place will be a better place than ever for the summer program, so parents should be comfortable sending their kids there,” Mr. Cullen said.

Mr. Testa said that while the basement bathroom will have to be cleaned of mold, the town can decide later on if it wants to reactivate the old bathrooms.

Because the town didn’t know about the bathroom when it wrote bid specifications for the job, none of the cost estimates included it, Mr. Cullen said.

The town awarded a $26,950 contract to Middle Island-based Duraclean on an emergency basis May 31, after no bids were received the week before. Duraclean was one of four companies that had submitted informal estimates for the job in April, and its proposal was the least expensive.

Mold remediation was needed at the center and Town Hall because of flooding caused by late March storms.

The Town Board’s decision to award the Town Hall job on an emergency basis, with no formal bidding process, became controversial after it was learned that the company chosen, Servpro of Northeast Queens, was owned by a relative of Supervisor Sean Walter’s secretary. Because of that controversy, the board did seek bids for the community center job.

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