Recent testing conducted at the H.C. King Center by the Oklahoma Natural Environmental Specialists confirmed the presence of mold in the kitchen area, City of Lawton officials said Tuesday.

The center, located at Northwest 20th and Taylor, is owned by the City of Lawton, and leased and maintained by the Delta Nutrition Project.

Operations in this area of the center were suspended following the discovery of an unknown substance in the kitchen area in early December. Environmental Specialists conducted a test of that area in mid-December, and testing results were communicated to Delta Nutrition last week, city officials said. A copy of the report, as relayed to the City of Lawton from the responsible party, may be found on lawtonok.gov.

City officials are working alongside Delta Nutrition to ensure recommended corrective action, as outlined in the report, is taken swiftly, city officials said Tuesday. The kitchen area of the facility will be locked and closed off until proper treatment is carried out. Other center operations are ongoing, city officials said.

A black substance — later confirmed to be mold — was found in the kitchen area Dec. 6, and Delta suspended nutrition services at the community center until an investigation was concluded. The testing done on Dec. 13 found what was identified to be mold in multiple places, including on the walls, under sinks and on vents.

Recommended remediation, as specified in the Environmental Specialists report, includes remove and replace water spots containing moisture; remove and replace portions of the back wall of the main kitchen area (and check for more extensive damage), as well as the walls of the dish room and under the janitor sink; and have the HVAC system, ducts, coils, plenum and registers cleaned by a professional. Other recommendations include elimination of uncontrolled moisture, then treatment with a non-toxic botanical solution.

Additional information is available by contacting Parks and Recreation Administration at (580) 581-3400.

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