Black mould growing on wall in Gore Public Library deemed to be safe

There is black mould growing in the Gore Public Library building.
Kavinda Herath
There is black mould growing in the Gore Public Library building.

Black mould is growing in the Gore Public Library, but the council says there is no risk to staff or visitors.

Council regulatory and planning general manager Dr Ian Davidson-Watts said the council became aware of black mould at the Gore library late last month.

The mould is in the manager's office and a north facing corner, where there is limited public foot traffic.

Gore District Council regulatory and planning general manager Dr Ian Davidson-Watts.
Rachael Kelly
Gore District Council regulatory and planning general manager Dr Ian Davidson-Watts.

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"Given the library is a building frequented by many of our youngest residents and senior citizens, the council acted immediately to determine if there was any risk and how best to ensure it is safe for customers and staff.

"The results of testing and the expert advice we have received to date indicates the mould does not present a hazard at present."

As a precautionary measure the mould was covered with plastic and sealed to contain it last week.

The occurrence of mould highlights the growing issues linked to the leaky building problems that have been occurring at the library for several years. The council's 10-Year-Plan recognises these issues and outlines work to be undertaken to prevent water from seeping into the building.

"The replacement of the roof was one avenue. However, with the need now to take a more global look at things, the council is working with environmental specialists to develop a management plan to achieve the best long-term outcome," Davidson-Watts said.

A report from library manager Lorraine Weston-Webb, which was tabled at a Gore District Council meeting on February 5, said a heavy rain storm in early December caused severe flooding in the library conservatory, children's area and staff room.

Gore district mayor Tracy Hicks said public safety is paramount for any council facility, and he was confident staff had acted quickly and appropriately.

"We have been gathering factual evidence and getting the best advice available, all of which indicates there is no risk at present to customers," he said.

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