UPDATE: Gainesville’s Thomas Center was deemed safe for employees to start working again starting Tuesday, after the fumigation and safety checks ended over the weekend and Monday.
A $103,000 fumigation project stated Friday at Gainesville’s historic Thomas Center to prevent further termite problems.
Southern Fumigation and Pest Control and Emory Brantley and Sons will fumigate the 950,000 cubic feet within the Thomas Center buildings, said city spokesman Bob Woods.
The gas is deadly, so strict safety measures were taken to ensure no person was in the building when the fumigation started.
Co-owner of Emory Brantley and Sons Sean Sean Brantely explained how the process is actually quite safe.
“Anyone who would get under the tarp would immediately succumb to the effects and have to get out,” Brantely said of a warning gas that is used before and during the chemical treatment.
The gases used for the fumigation leave no residue, so the buildings just have to be fanned out to be safe. To be sure that there is no risk, workers from the two companies will measure the air quality of all air spaces in the center before allowing employees or the public back in.
In addition to the warning gas, each entrance will be double-locked, said Dale Dubberly, an environmental administrator for Field Enforcement for Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
The choice to fumigate the center over other options was ideal, Woods said.
Red, black and blue will cover the Thomas Center this