Laurens County Administrator Thomas Higgs said Monday that the county-owned building housing the local South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and the Department of Social Services is closed temporarily due to needed renovations and repairs to the building.
According to a post on the Laurens County Health Department’s Facebook page its offices closed on June 15. The post also directed those in need of health department services to offices in Greenwood and Greenville.
“That building was constructed many years ago – back in the 1970s or 80s – and it has some moisture issues and some other things going on,” said Higgs. “Buildings then weren’t build with the same codes and standards we have now, …. and the (moisture liner) has deteriorated.”
Despite the moisture problems the renovation project is attempting to rectify, Higgs said he is unaware of any mold problems caused by the moisture.
“We’ve taken air samples, and things like that, and we’ve called in ServPro (a company that specializes in water damage cleanup and mold remediation), and they have installed air purifying filters.”
Work has started with funds appropriated in the 2021-22 county budget, and will continue with funds allocated for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1. Higgs estimates that the project will cost the county about $100,000 and said it also includes new flooring and a new HVAC system.
It is unclear when the building will completely reopen to staff and the public.
“We’re working with DHEC right now on how to maintain continuity of services they have to deliver,” Higgs said. “All of those services are so vital to the community from an immediate health aspect and from a DSS perspective, and we don’t want to disrupt services.”
Here is a list of contact numbers the Laurens County Health Department provided on its Facebook page for necessary services:
WIC Services: 864-569-3277.
Environmental Services: 864-227-5915 (Greenwood).
Vital Records: 864-277-5970 (Greenwood).
TB Services: 864-372-3198 (Greenwood).
All other services: 864-569-3277.