by Robin Kemp

UPDATES 10:35 a.m. July sted June

UPDATES 5:11 p.m. with Chairman Turner’s comment

Burst pipes in the Clayton County Courthouse have done extensive damage to the second and third floors — and the July 15 incident is not the first time this has happened.

“As best that we can determine right now a quarter of the courthouse was affected by water damage which may have penetrated several of the walls,” said Chairman Jeff Turner. “If so, portions of the sheetrock and molding will have to be removed and replaced.”

Photos posted on Facebook by courthouse personnel show flooding in the law library, third-floor hallway, and probation office.

Photo of the Probation Office shows broken ceiling tiles and reflections in water on the carpeted floor.
Standing water outside the Law Library on the third floor of the Clayton County Courthouse. The library itself was flooded. It is not clear at this time whether any law books or computers were damaged.

Plumbing is an ongoing issue for the Justice Center complex.

The Clayton Crescent recently received 490 pages of plumbing work orders for the Clayton County Courts, the jail, the juvenile justice center, the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office, the Clayton County Justice center, and the Central Plant completed between Jan. 2018 and March 2020 in response to an Open Records Request. The orders include locations, the nature of each problem, and repairs done. Here are those records:

In addition, remediation had to be done to the Justice Center last summer to remove “microbial growth in the stairwells” on the first floor and to remediate Courtrooms 201 and 202. Stachybotrys, or black mold, was found on the air ducts in Courtroom 202 “due to mold being on the air duct vents.” Here is that work order:

Although the courthouse is relatively empty due to the COVID-19 emergency, clerks, deputies, and other staff are still on duty in the building.

In addition, an inmate in the Clayton County Jail recently told The Clayton News that leaking pipes were dripping water onto at least one bunk in the jail, that “little dots” of mold spotted the walls, and that “fuzzy” mold was growing in a men’s shower area.

More on this developing story soon.