Child Support Services moving office to new Dover location

DOVER — A state office with previously reported problems with mold will move to another Dover location and reopen Aug. 1, the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services said Tuesday.

The Division of Child Support Services space at the Blue Hen Corporate Center at 655 S. Bay Road will be closed July 30 and July 31 during a move to the new location at 905 S. Governors Avenue. DCSS offices in Georgetown and New Castle will remain open for business during the transition and can manage any cases in the state, the DHSS said in announcing the move in a news release.

DHSS spokeswoman Jill Fredel said the DCSS has 22 staff members in the current office, with three or more employees rotating through the space.

The current spot has 6,969 square feet and the new location will have 8,182 square feet.

“For at least the last two summers, air quality has been affecting several Division of Child Support Services staff members,” Ms. Fredel said. “The landlord Pettinaro tried to mitigate the issue, but, in the end, terminated the lease, so the state could seek a new office location.”

Limited services will be available at the current Dover office through July 27.

DHSS said child support customers can access information and services by contacting the DCSS Customer Service Unit at 577-7171 during the move, along with the division’s websites at www.dhss.delaware.gov/dcss and www.facebook.com/DelawareDCSS.

The Sussex County office is located in the Georgetown Professional Park at 20105 Office Circle, and the New Castle office is in the Churchman’s Corporate Center at 84A Christiana Road.

In early July, officials confirmed that the State of Delaware paid $3,184 for mold testing in the area leased from Pettinaro Management LLC and moving costs were approximated at $40,000. The Office of Management and Budget said the lease was terminated after a June 8 discussion with the company.

The now-terminated lease was in effect from January 2015 to December 2025, the OMB said, and $910,000 was remaining. Terms of the new lease were not immediately available through the OMB.

Suspected mold was first observed on the backs of certain chairs, bookcases and under keyboards, the OMB said. Bear-based Harvard Environmental conducted quality air testing on Oct. 23, 2017 and issued a report confirming mold on Nov. 2, 2017.

In June, OMB spokesman Bert Scoglietti said, “Pettinaro was responsible for maintaining the property including addressing environmental issues.

They did implement measures to address the observed environmental issues but were not able to completely eliminate them.”

Earlier, the OMB said the current annual rent for the affected DCSS office is $113,455.32, which is $16.28 per square foot.

The state currently leases 25,367 square feet overall at the Blue Hen Corporate Center, and officials said earlier that the unaffected office space will remain in place.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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