Expert Reports Dog Track Mold 'Can Be Successfully Remediated'

Paul E. Johnson of Nova Consulting Group performed a walkthrough of the St. Croix Meadows dog track building on Monday and reported to the school board on Tuesday that the building mold issues could be fixed during the renovation process.

After a walkthrough inspection of the St. Croix Meadows dog track building on Monday, July 9, Paul E. Johnson of Nova Consulting Group reported to the Board of Education on Tuesday, July 10, that the building's mold issues could be remediated during the renovation process that would turn the building into a secondary school.

On April 2, the district  at St. Croix Meadows dog track property.

On April 3, voters in the Hudson School District . The purchase is contingent of the rezoning the property . The matter is still before the city's Plan Commission and Common Council.


A PDF of Johnson's full report to the board has been attached to this article.



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Paine Reliever July 11, 2012 at 07:09 PM
No I have not seen the dog track. But forgive me if I take the word of two architectural firms and a more recent mold expert that have been inside the building. I think they may know a little bid more about it than some local gossip monkeys. You have no facts, just a redundant idiocy spiral of unsubstantiated charges.
Bobby B July 11, 2012 at 07:12 PM
And what a great time to do a mold study, AFTER buying the property! Wow! These guys are good!
Paine Reliever July 11, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Here you go again. There is no serious mold issue. That was determined before the sale. The latest study was done to address the gossip monkeys who keep spreading lies. Give me some facts, dates, grainy black and white photos.... Anything?
Bobby B July 11, 2012 at 07:52 PM
Hey we bought property with mold in it and got the expert to come in AFTER the sale! Wow! These guys are smarter than I thought!
Mike July 11, 2012 at 08:32 PM
So after reading the HSB letter of April 2 in reference to the mold issues at the dog track, it is obvious that the School Board was aware of the mold issues and failed to bring any of that information to the public until Mrs. Gehrke brought it out. After the cat was out of the bag the HSD then released information that basically said, yeah well we will clean it up before school starts. To me, lack of providing that important information is nothing more than a lie and cover up to the people.
Paine Reliever July 11, 2012 at 08:57 PM
It is not a cover up if it is not a problem to begin with. When the building is gutted, all drywall, insulation, carpet and anything else that mold grows on is removed. The steel and concrete is then cleaned. This was known from the first inspection. They never expected to move in with desks and students as is. As much as some people would like to make this an issue, it really is not. Mrs Gerhke is using this non-issue as one of her talking points because she is against the purchase of the dog track.
Bobby B July 11, 2012 at 09:00 PM
And they did the mold study AFTER buying the property! Does it get any better than that? The community is blessed to have such wizards on the school board!
gma iris July 12, 2012 at 01:34 AM
so if mold is NOT an issue, then why not disclose it in all the fancy mailings prior to the vote? Why not state what condition the building is in - what was found in the inspection - ya know be upfront from the get go. Instead it becomes a "non-issue" and looks like a cover up - and you wonder why people do not trust/believe our current board and their leader?
MrsPeel July 12, 2012 at 04:15 AM
What is it with the complaint mongers? Anyone who knows anything about re-purposing a building would not be worried about minor mold contamination. The interior of the building will be gutted; removing drywall, carpeting, and floor tile where the mold might be. It is not like mold in a home where the mold gets into everything because it is wood and cellulose based. The mold does not thrive in steel and concrete. Guess what? The interior of the building might need to be painted. Newsflash: a major roof reconstruction would be in order as the building is repurposed. Engineering firms had checked out the building prior to agreeing to purchase the site. The whiners apparently have no grasp of the concept of "materiality", which ranks issues according to severity. The PROFESSIONALS saw the mold and the minor leaks and judged them to be.of little consequence. If the professional whiners and complainers are against the purchase of the SCM site, why not say so? The community voted on it and recommended the purchase, so now the whiners are fighting a rear-guard battle under the guise of "mold". This argument is as relevant as the recitation of the 1st Amendment at the Board Meeting last evening. Ms. Gerhrke, who seems to be the current "flag bearer" of the complainers was severly chastised at the Board Meeting. Once again, she was "outed" as a person who seems to think that ehtics policies are meant for others, but do not apply to her.
Evjen Rattara July 12, 2012 at 05:18 AM
Then again, if the mold contamination is no big deal than why not disclose it in the beginning? You know why as well as I, not to derail the referendum. Total disclosure can not be disputed, and the Board decided not to.
Bobby B July 12, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Gee, the paid consultants come in and tell us that it's no big deal. What a surprise! And don't you love the leading questions by Holland? They must have rehearsed the presentation together.
mainstreet July 12, 2012 at 02:09 PM
The mold is really a non issue in my opinion. First of all, I doubt the property is going to be rezoned by the city. Second if it is, do you really think they are going to use the old building? My bet is on demolition and start new. The plan all along, the board just won't tell you that. IMHO.
Bobby B July 12, 2012 at 02:37 PM
You're right mainstreet, the city is going to thump the school board on the zoning and all of this PR spending by Holland and crew is wasted money, but that's what they're good at.
True Grit July 12, 2012 at 08:15 PM
The district said all along that the mold was not an issue. The people who just wasted the taxpayer dollars are the people who loudly repeated there was a mold problem knowing full well that there was not. Hudsonites repeatedly pay a premium price for red herring.
Bobby B July 12, 2012 at 08:42 PM
If the mold wasn't an issue then why have someone come out? Have you seen the dog track True Grit? Please give us a full report.
Paine Reliever July 13, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Bobby b. Someone came out to inspect because people like you keep spreading lies about the small amount of mold being a huge problem and cover up which it is not. Please read all the comments above to see the rediiculous circle you have led us on. Next you will complain about the cost of the consultant. Or did you already?
Bobby B July 13, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Oh the Paine is getting more intense.... The buyers (ie taxpayers, at least those of us who pay taxes) were never told by the school district in various mailings that mold was present, at whatever level, in the building. Sounds to me like full disclosure to the ultimate buyers was never made. Keep up the game though Paine. You need something to keep you busy during the day.
Evjen Rattara July 13, 2012 at 09:03 PM
I sure do not want the Board or anyone else deciding what is or is not important to me. Disclose everthing and let the voters decide. And yes the Board did conspire to cover up the mold. How could the many appraisers and architects that gave reports miss the problem. Easy, they were told too..
Krystal July 13, 2012 at 09:38 PM
I'm lost. Didn't we all assume that there was some mold present? I know I did. It'd be silly not to given the situation of the building.
gma iris July 13, 2012 at 10:06 PM
I think everyone who has commented would agree that the assumption would be that there would be mold, leakage, etc in a building that has sat vacant for that many years. However, I think what the real "issue" here is that facts were not provided prior to the referendum. If they (school board/administration) could spend our (tax payer) dollars on many flyers promoting why we "need" to purchase the track property, why not also state facts such as (a) the current structure has damage (mold, water, etc) and would not be used but torn down with all brand new building(s) built and (b) we plan to build a (fill in the blank) school (which is YET to be determined - or maybe it HAS been determined just not disclosed)?
DianeT July 13, 2012 at 10:16 PM
In my opinion…the appraisal isn’t worth the paper it is printed on. If you look at it, there are no pictures or mention of the building interior, nor any close up pictures of the building exterior. The formula makes little sense considering the property needs to be demolished, and the parking lot is not even usable. It would take a shady character to fabricate such a number, but then I would consider a 5 time convicted felon of theft by swindle (one of the appraisers) to be just that. Wasn’t this lofty appraisal used to convince the public what a great value they would receive? If they wanted to be more truthful, why not say they made an offer to purchase land and utilities for a Hudson High athletic citadel? That might be believable.
Evjen Rattara July 13, 2012 at 11:41 PM
Jeffery White the appraiser has a website where you can e-mail him your info. and he'll send back his results for inspection. If you do not like what you see you may return the appraisel for correction. Quite the deal...
Vested Interest July 16, 2012 at 02:25 AM
What I find troubling is the fact that a purchase offer of $8.25M was made, committed with public dollars, without any appraisal done first. How responsible was that? What would the school board have done if the only appraisal they did receive came back stating the property was only worth $4M? I'll tell you what they would have done - they would have sought a second and third appraisal. Why didn't they do that here? Simple - they got a number they wanted the public to believe was valid and didn't bother to seek another opinion to back it up. So, DianeT - you are absolutely right. The current appraisal touted by the school board is worth nothing but one person's view - and it's from one with a very questionable background. Given the additional information in the purchase agreement pertaining to the gifting clause and then having this questionable appraisal produced raises even more speculation. This school board has committed so many missteps in this process that it should be required to throw all of it out.
Evjen Rattara July 16, 2012 at 02:29 AM
Vested Interest, you really want to scream? Read page 5 of the appraisel under "Extraordinary Assumptions." You will scream...
DianeT July 16, 2012 at 02:43 AM
Great catch, Evjan Rattara. That is simply outrageous that they would submit an appraisal based on future improvements, including curb and asphalt and building retrofitting. The school district did not present this appraisal as such but rather what the property was currently worth.
Micheal Foley July 16, 2012 at 03:07 AM
I think there's a glitch on this post. Is anyone else having problems with their comments going into some sort of moderation queue? I've heard a few complaints and I'm trying to figure out what people are experiencing so I can report it to the help desk.
Evjen Rattara July 16, 2012 at 03:08 AM
The public has been clearly misled by the Board. They ordered the appraisal that way but failed to inform the people of the "virtual school. “They used that inflated appraisal to convince everyone what a great bye the SCM property was thus gaining approval of the referendum....
DianeT July 16, 2012 at 03:12 AM
No problems here, but I think you have the perfect opportunity to bring the truth about this appraisal (including the criminal background of one appraiser) to the public in a separate story. The school district never pointed out the extraordinary assumptions when they referenced this lofty number as part of their value argument.
DianeT July 16, 2012 at 03:14 AM
Foley - that previous post of mine was meant for you.
Mark Richards November 13, 2012 at 03:04 AM
Well from my honest opinion, I don't think the undisclosure of the mold problems was intentional at all. There is absolutely nothing to fret about and get all worked up. Mold, leakage and deterioration are common factors found in a building that has been vacant for quite sometime. And mold removal can be done easily in just a short period of time if that's really necessary. Perhaps the $8m has already included the mold removal services too. - http://www.mold-removal-toronto.com


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