Employees told not to vacuum floors amid mold investigation at state building

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) - It is the center of state business in southern Nevada, but some of the 700 employees who work in the building daily are blowing the whistle on the mounting problems facing the Grant Sawyer Building near Las Vegas Boulevard and Washington.

"Get off your duff, get the money, legislature, get the money buildings and grounds, and fix this," said Rick McCann, Executive Director for the Nevada Association of Public Safety Officers.

McCann does not work in the building, but he does represent 5 public safety organizations with offices and employees who work inside the Grant Sawyer Building.

McCann says multiple employees are complaining of mysterious illnesses.

"Now we have gone to an issue of a sick building syndrome, for a lack of a better term. A lot of people are now starting to realize there's been a lot of illness there," added McCann

According to internal emails obtained by Contact 13, a bad odor prompted complaints late last month. A faulty pipe was blamed for the problems, but then more troubles cropped up.

"My understanding is that employees within the last week or so were asked not to vacuum their areas, because there was some testing going on," said McCann.

Additional emails provided to Contact 13 show employees were asked not to vacuum their workspaces, and janitorial vacuuming was suspended last week.

The state acknowledges the there have been some age-related maintenance issues for the 23-year-old building.

There is a major renovation project underway to address a pigeon poop problem on the roof and to replace vital components of the heating and air conditioning unit.

Those upgrades should be complete by Spring 2017, according to state officials.

A Nevada spokesperson released a statement regarding the request for employees not to vacuum their work areas last week:

That State Public Works Division is in the process of conducting indoor air quality tests of the Grant Sawyer Building. A sampling was taken the week of January 15, and the results will be analyzed by a laboratory. A component of the air quality assessment will include an analysis of potential mold. The results of the testing will be available in approximately 10 weeks.

 

Marry Woods, Department of Administration

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