The main courthouse in Springfield, Massachusetts, is closing temporarily so a mold problem can be dealt with. The state's court system made the announcement Wednesday.
A statement from the Trial Court said in a statement an environmental testing firm and a mold abatement company are being brought in to look into and fix issues that have been identified.
“The Trial Court will determine the ability to reopen once those assessments have been completed,” the statement said.
Before the state's announcement, Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni said he was pulling more than 40 of his staffers out of the Roderick Ireland Courthouse. He said mold has been spreading throughout the building.
"On books, on flags on walls, there's visible, significant mold," Gulluni said at a press conference Wednesday. "There continues to be mold in what appears to be the vents of the many offices within the courthouse... it's gotten worse."
Workers at the courthouse and local court officials have long complained about mold, and other environmental issues at the building, which houses Hampden Superior Court and Springfield District Court.
Gulluni said his immediate concern is making sure the courthouse is a safe place to work. But he said the situation with the building has reached a crisis point, and that it needs significant renovations, or more preferably replacement.
"It's my belief if that we were farther east, this building would have been replaced a long time ago," Gulluni said. "It's time that we get just treatment. It's time that we get the resources we need. This is one of the busiest courthouses in all the Commonwealth."
In the meantime, Gulluni said, the displaced workers will move to space his office has at a nearby building in downtown Springfield.