ABERDEEN – The General Services Administration (GSA) issued a stop work order to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on the approximately $12 million Utility Energy Service Contract (UESC) project to fund a complete replacement of the mold-infected HVAC system and to provide much-needed energy upgrades to the building.

After two years of project development, GSA determined using the UESC as a funding mechanism is not viable under current GSA funding regulations. The UESC funding hinged on having a required energy payback no longer than 20 years.

The payback was miscalculated by the GSA team and actually extends much longer than the legally allowed 20 years for UESC funding. This error was not discovered until recently resulting in the stop work order and the loss of two-plus years of work. At this time, how this project will be funded and when construction could start are unknown.

The Thomas G. Abernethy Federal Building in downtown Aberdeen has battled mold resulting from decades of deferred maintenance by the GSA. In November of 2017, the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Mississippi was forced to relocate for the health and safety of its staff and the public.

The court remains displaced from its home in the Aberdeen courthouse and is extremely disappointed in the recent turn of events resulting in the wasted effort of two years of work and planning. The court continues to hold GSA accountable to the people of Mississippi.

It has been the court’s directive throughout the design process that the building be completely clean, healthy and safe when move in day arrives. Providing a safe and sound environment for public and staff is paramount.

The court remains committed to the City of Aberdeen and Monroe County and will return to the courthouse when the repairs and renovations are completed.

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