Mayor’s statement on re-opening the Churchill Building

Galena Park Mayor Esmeralda Moya submitted this statement to the North Channel Star concerning the Evelyn Churchill Community Building:

“As we all know, the Evelyn Churchill Community Building was closed by order of the Fire Marshal due to dangerous conditions disclosed by Commissioner Eric Broussard at a City Council meeting.

The City learned upon inspection by the Fire Marshal and Building Inspector that no building permit had been sought for what was supposed to only be ‘work to bring the building up to minimum building codes.’ As we learned, walls were taken out, many never mentioned “improvements” were made and it now appears that mold remediation work was improperly done. The building has since been tested by experts and two types of mold and asbestos were found inside the building.

For a second opinion on what must now be done in order to address these issues, additional experts were retained and they recently inspected and tested the building further. I have requested that they provide a complete report on the condition of the building and what must be done so it can once again be utilized by the community, and to advise the City as to the costs for any required remediation and finishing the build back. Only then will we know when the building might be re-opened.

I have also asked the experts to make a presentation of their findings at a City Council meeting when their work is complete. I expect this will occur in April.

I look forward to the experts’ reports and working to promptly resolve this issue.

With respect to the claims for payment related to the ‘work’ that was done, I have asked the City Attorney to evaluate that issue, particularly since the City never signed or agreed to any contract, and I have also asked him to evaluate and investigate claims the City may have against responsible parties for the costs we face to now properly remediate the building and rebuild it.”