Frederick's City Hall to reopen Monday after building determined to be asbestos-free

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Jul. 25—Frederick's City Hall will reopen Monday after environmental testing conducted over the weekend determined material feared to contain asbestos was free of the hazardous mineral, city officials announced Sunday.

The building was closed on Thursday — and remained closed Friday — and employees were sent home after Department of Public Works crews found a material beneath the subflood of the second floor foyer that would have contained asbestos, according to a city news release.

The crews were making repairs to areas affected by water damage caused by a burst sprinkler pipe on July 17, which had prompted the building's closure Monday and Tuesday.

City employees and members of the general public are free to return to the building on Monday, city officials said. All public meetings will air as scheduled.

City Hall had only recently reopened to the public after being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic since last spring.

Built in 1862 as the county's courthouse, the building was the county's third and was built after the previous building burned, said Lisa Mroszczyk Murphy, a historic preservation planner for the city.

While the building was being constructed, the basement was taken over by Confederate troops occupying the city and used as a guardhouse.

When the building was finished, the bell from the previous courthouse was hung in the new building's cupola.

The building underwent extensive renovations in the 1950s, then became City Hall in the 1980s, Mroszczyk Murphy said.

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