Sewage seen leaking inside Roderick Ireland Courthouse in Springfield

Today, we spoke to several workers who told us they are disgusted by the recent pictures showing sewage inside the building.
Published: Mar. 16, 2022 at 12:15 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 16, 2022 at 3:08 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Calls are continuing to grow over health concerns at the Roderick Ireland Courthouse in Springfield. New pictures into our newsroom show sewage leaking from floors and ceilings of the building.

Every single day, courthouse employees walk up the steps into the courthouse. Today, we spoke to several workers who told us they are disgusted by the recent pictures showing sewage inside the building and are once again standing by their calls for the courthouse to be closed down.

Western Mass News has obtained photos that show new health concerns inside the Roderick Ireland Courthouse, aside from the toxic mold. We have blurred images showing fecal matter inside the building, but you can also see water seeping through the ceiling, as well as through the carpets.

“This is major, hazardous waste cleaning, and that has not been done yet that I’m aware of. That is great concern,” said Hampden County Register of Deeds Cheryl Coakley-Rivera.

Coakley-Rivera told Western Mass News that her office received the photos Tuesday afternoon from courthouse employees who are concerned for their well-being and jobs.

“Because they are afraid obviously to send them to anyone else. They are afraid to get fired, they are afraid to get in trouble or discipline,” Coakley-Rivera explained.

Meanwhile, a labor union representing courthouse employees is also calling for those still working inside the building to be relocated.

“There are alternatives. We want to know why we can’t explore them. There is space available, over the technical college not too far from here,” said George Noel with OPEIU Local 6.

Laura Mangini, the lead council in the lawsuit brought against the Massachusetts Trial Court, said the new photos are further evidence that action is required immediately.

“The photos, I did forward them this morning to the defense council, so that they are aware of them. We have no response to it,” Mangini added.

Meanwhile, Coakley-Rivera told us her office was informed that Trial Court Chief Justice Jeffrey Locke was in Springfield Wednesday to examine the conditions.

“It’s good he came to Springfield, obviously out of concern. I’m sure he saw those pictures. I don’t know the outcome, but he did come in from Boston today,” Coakley-Rivera said.

We reached out to the Massachusetts Trial Court and a spokesperson told us:

“Monday morning, there was a backup in a vertical sewer pipe. It backed up through the floor drains in the two third floor grand jury room bathrooms. It puddled around the drain and leaked through the ceiling to the second floor below, damaging ceiling tiles and the carpets of two offices. A drain company came on Monday afternoon and cleared the drain blockage. The trial court facilities department cleaned and sanitized the bathrooms, replaced the ceiling tiles, and cleaned and sanitized the carpets Monday night, and will replace the carpets as soon as possible.”

The spokesperson added that there are no plans to relocate courthouse operations.