State investigation into Grant Sawyer building complaints

LAS VEGAS - Most 21-year-old's are in good health. The same can't be said for buildings the same age. The Grant Sawyer state office building in Las Vegas is one of those buildings, but some workers say it's far from fit.

Complaints over air quality, room temperature and plumbing linger over a complex that cost taxpayers $27 million.

"It's a very difficult work environment," said Louis Haynie, retired gaming control officer. "People getting sick. Headaches."

Haynie says he has pictures to prove all the ways his office was intolerable.

"Human waste coming up through the urinals and the toilets," he said.

Too hot. Too cold. Too dirty.

"It smells like poo," he said.

He's happy he's now retired.

"No, I don't miss the building itself."

Haynie spent eight years as an enforcement agent with the Nevada Gaming Control Board. He left last week.

But he speaks on behalf of many workers still inside Grant Sawyer frustrated with unhealthy working conditions.

For example, pictures show the temperature inside during the summer reaching 97 degrees. In the winter, it can get as cold as 50.

"It's enough that people are bringing in electric blankets, space heaters," he said. "All the things we're not supposed to have, but kind of have-to-have to survive."

He's not the only one concerned.

Nevada OSHA is investigating other complaints over building conditions.

And the Nevada Attorney General's office said its employees are routinely getting sick so its asked the governor's office to step in several times over the last few months.

The concerns raised about the heating and air conditioning, the air quality, even the plumbing, that's just the tip of the iceberg. There have been plenty of other problems with the building. Ten years ago, there was an issue with the tiles at the entryway. They kept falling down. That repair cost Nevada taxpayers millions.

A decade later and workers say problems are still not getting fixed.

"We're supposed to be the gold standard in gaming regulation and half of our employees are out sick because they can't be in the building at any given time," Haynie said.

Nevada's Department of Administration says the air system at Grant Sawyer will be fixed by April. It adds other issues are a normal part of operating a large building. The governor's office says air testing is happening routinely to make sure Grant Sawyer is safe.
    


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