OSBI discovers mold problem

Lawton_The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is without its home because the Lawton building is full of mold.  So, OSBI is working out of a temporary office.  The mold problem was discovered after routine maintenance was being done on its building just off of East Gore Blvd.  New carpet and paint was being installed when it was discovered.  It was so bad, the employees weren't allowed inside the building, and no one is permitted to enter without a respirator.

"We didn't realize the seriousness of it until we started moving away the heavy furniture and some of the laboratory cabinetry that was attached to the walls," said Richard Goss, an OSBI inspector.  He says an expert on mold said structural deficiencies and lab equipment generated too much humidity and causing the problem.

Their temporary office is in a building at the Lawton Police Department.  At their mold infested building, new pipes are being laid to keep the drainage flowing smoothly so the structure won't absorb so much water keeping the mold away and the employees in their own building.  A slope will also have to be built along the sides of the walls to create a runoff so it won't push water into the building.

7News wasn't allowed inside to see the interior work being done.  However, OSBI says the sheet work is being replaced along with the rest of the insulation.  This, followed by a wash of all surfaces by a bleach mixture and, to finish, it must pass an inspection before employees are allowed back inside.

On a daily basis, some of the OSBI employees will be literally working side by side with Lawton Police.  All the agents work out in the field, so it hasn't caused a problem for them.  But, office personnel like Rebecca Stiles, the evidence technician, needs an office and storage space.  She and others will be working out of the LPD office.  It certainly makes it more convenient for police officers.

LPD submits more evidence to the OSBI station than any other law enforcement agencies in the ten counties it serves, and right now, everything is easier than usual.  It will be around two months before OSBI is able to move back to their original location.