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Contaminants found in S. Deerfield municipal building

SOUTH DEERFIELD — In the South County Senior Center, a Holyoke hygiene consulting firm discovered small amounts of asbestos in the basement and second floor.

Forbes and Wheeler Inc., hired in September for $5,000 to analyze the historic building, also found traces of lead paint on the second floor and signs of mold in the basement.

“It’s very common in older buildings,” said Building Inspector and Health Agent Richard Calisewski.

The containments were not found on the first floor, which holds the regional senior center shared by Deerfield, Whately and Sunderland. The town has since closed off the second floor and basement to the public as precautionary measures. The third floor or the attic has also been closed for some time. The first floor is open to the public.

The Board of Selectmen has not yet made a decision on what it wants to do with the building.

The Highway Department, which handles building maintenance, requested quotes from two restoration companies, which were done for free.

For $26,000, Evergreen Environmental, Inc. proposed to perform the asbestos abatement and mold remediation at the senior center.

For a fixed price of $21,500, Compass Restoration Services, LLC of Ludlow proposed to remove and dispose of all the contaminated materials.

The town would have to put the project out for bid if it does decide to clean the building of asbestos and mold.

Meanwhile, the town hired Agricola Corp. of Chicopee to evaluate the building at 67 North Main St. for $8,500. The evaluation is funded by Community Preservation Act money the town approved for the Deerfield Historical Commission to assess the structure.

The building has a long history in town. Designed by Northampton architect William Fenno Pratt, it was formerly a grammar school in 1888. In the past, the second floor was also used by the Boy Scouts and for Veterans’ Offices. The third floor attic was used as a basketball court and gym.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at: or 413-772-0261 ext. 268.

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