Madison County courthouse vacated for asbestos remediation

Madison County employees are moving out of a courthouse in central Indiana to allow for asbestos remediation work.

The employees will be vacating the downtown Anderson building for seven months, The Herald Bulletin reported.

The county's Board of Commissioners approved an agreement Tuesday with Anderson University to lease space at two locations for more than $30,000 a month. Relocated offices include the court system and clerk's office.

"It was difficult to find a place to fit everyone and continue for the work to be done," said Steffanie Owens, a county commissioner. "This is not perfect, but was our best option."

Asbestos was first discovered in the courthouse in October 2016. A survey by HydroTech Environmental Consulting & Engineering found asbestos on sprayed-on fireproofing material in the building. The fireproofing material was used on structural steel beams and columns in the building, on ceilings and walls in various rooms, and on plumbing pipes.

A further inspection found the asbestos could become airborne if it's disturbed.

In addition to removing asbestos, work will also include new fireproofing, carpeting, lighting and paint in county offices.

The remediation and temporary office relocation is expected to cost about $2 million.

The county will provide security and housekeeping at the new locations. The university will cover utility costs.

Officials say the courthouse will be closed to the public starting Nov. 27. All employees will be out of the building by the time remediation work begins on Dec. 4.

The building is expected to reopen in June 30.

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