Asbestos, lead paint found in Jervey Palmer

Published 2:42pm Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tryon to ask county for Phase II study

The Town of Tryon plans to ask Polk County commissioners to do a phase II study of the Jervey Palmer building after a phase I study flagged lead paint and asbestos as issues.

Tryon Town Council met on Oct. 16 and agreed to ask the county to pay for the phase II study in order for the town to take ownership of the building. The county has asked Tryon to take the building that is now abandoned after formerly housing county offices.

The building, located on Carolina Drive in Tryon, originally housed St. Luke’s Hospital and was constructed in the 1920s.

Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples said the phase I concluded there is lead paint and asbestos in the building. It was also discovered that there are oil and/or gas tanks but it is not yet known where they are located.

Peoples said there is an interested person who wants to trade the town for the building. Council agreed the town does not want to pay for the phase II study.

“If the county will pay for a phase II it would be a win-win,” said Tryon commissioner Doug Arbogast.

Peoples agreed saying the town and the county could get the building back on the tax rolls and the town could get a building for its maintenance facility out of the trade.

The county abandoned the Jervey Palmer building last year after its department of social services (DSS) relocated to a new building in Mill Spring. The county had used the Jervey Palmer building since the early 1970s after the new St. Luke’s Hospital was constructed in Columbus.

The Jervey Palmer building at one time housed DSS and mental health services, veteran’s services and the Meeting Place Senior Center.

The senior center and veteran’s services are now located off Skyuka Road in Columbus after the county purchased the former Carolina Classical School.

Mental health services are located in a house the county purchased on White Drive in Columbus adjacent to Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry.

The county decided this year that the best use of the Jervey Palmer building would be to donate it to Tryon, since its located and zoned within town limits.

The county hired Altamont Engineering for $2,400 to conduct the phase I study. Altamont has not given an estimate yet on what a phase II study would cost, but told the county in August phase II costs are generally between $5,000 and $15,000 depending on what issues are found.

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