Chester city officials have decided that the money it would take to conduct another study of the S.L. Finley Center would be better spent on repairs and the possible fumigation of the building.
That makes sense. Two tests already have determined that airborne mold spores in the building are rapidly increasing, which poses a serious health risk. The City Council initially had decided to pay for a third study, hoping for better news.
This week, however, local leaders decided that they have all the information they need, and that a third study would be a waste of money. Mayor Mitch Foster has talked with officials at the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control about the situation, and learned about a fumigation process used to eradicate mold in Gulf Coast homes after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
He has advised city officials to consider that method to restore the center, which had housed the recreation department until it was closed June 11. The center, once the city's all-black high school, also features an indoor basketball court and was occasionally rented out for private parties. About 40 residents also paid to use the gym and workout area at the center.
The building will remain closed until the city can ensure that it is safe. But we think city officials made the right choice in deciding to go ahead and address the mold problems, and to save the building rather than demolish it.
If, as DHEC officials say, they have mold eradication methods that worked in Katrina-ravaged areas of the Gulf Coast, those methods should work here, too.
Chester officials made the right choice in addressing problems at S.L. Finley Center.