Results of new air quality assessment released for Roderick Ireland Courthouse in Springfield

We get reaction from Neal and court employees as the case prepares to go to trial next week.
Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 9:57 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -A new air quality assessment has been released on conditions of the Roderick Ireland Courthouse in Springfield from the past three years. This comes days away from a trial of the lawsuit filed against the trial court that will be going before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

We spoke with one of the courthouse employees to hear her reaction on this latest report as we look ahead to next weeks trial.

“I do think that the report indicates pretty clearly that the situation needs to be continually monitored and updated,” said Laura Gentile, County Clerk of Courts.

Roderick Ireland Courthouse employee, Laura Gentile, is weighing in on the latest developments from the ongoing controversy at Springfield’s Courthouse. On Thursday, the Massachusetts Trial Court released an indoor air quality assessment from the Environmental Health and Engineering Firm, which assessed the indoor air quality over the past three years.

“I don’t speak mold, but it appears that from what I do understand is there appears to be a number of areas that still need to be addressed, cleaning needed, touch up needed that sort of thing, work needed, and I think we all know that,” said Gentile.

The latest assessment, conducted on April 1, said conditions are improving and mold is not impacting the indoor air throughout most of the building. This comes despite months of contention surrounding the building that employs more than 550 people. An independent study earlier this year found toxic, cancer-causing mold inside the building.

“This to me is nothing that I didn’t expect, and I’m told it’s a reputable company but again I don’t know if people’s fears are going to be swayed by that...It is what it is,” said Gentile.

The firm recommended that the courthouse establish an operations and maintenance plan until scheduled renovations start in two years.

Attorney Laura Mangini, who is representing employees in the lawsuit set to go before the state supreme judicial court next week, told Western Mass News that the report is missing key details to make employees feel safe. Attorney Mangini also gave us a preview of who is expected to testify on their behalf.

“We’ll have both of our experts in testifying, we plan to bring in local witnesses to testify about what they experienced when they walked in the courthouse, how’s its affecting the administration of justice, issues with jurors with trials getting moved...We also have Dr. Elijah Stonemal whose our medical expert who is expected to come in and testify that this building is a sick building and that he wouldn’t send his patients into this building,” said Mangini.

At this point, there are some courthouse employees working remotely if they can, and the Sheriff’s Department is still limiting the number of inmates coming into the building as well.