Griswell Senior Center reopened to public
Official: Cause of odor may have been grease clog

By Joel Hall


After being closed for a week due to a mysterious, foul odor inside the building, the J. Charley Griswell Senior Center has been reopened.

According to county officials, seniors will be able to attend classes, and other activities at the facility, freely this week.

Mary Byrd, director of the Clayton County Senior Services Department, said the center reopened to the public on Oct. 8. The center was temporarily shut down on Sept. 30, because of an odor emanating throughout the building.

"It was plumbing issues that they had to get cleared up," Byrd said on Monday. Byrd deferred further comments to Clayton County Chief of Staff Alex Cohilas.

Cohilas said workers with the county's Building and Maintenance Department discovered a clogged grease tank, which may have been the cause of the smell.

"Our Building and Maintenance Department did an extensive amount of troubleshooting work trying to figure out where it [the smell] was coming from," Cohilas said. "We believe it was related to a grease tank that collects from the kitchen. They have pumped it out and have put in the proper chemicals that will prevent further clogging. Ever since that corrective action was taken, the problem has dissipated."

Cohilas said that while the clogged grease tank has not been labeled the "definitive" cause of the smell, patrons should have no reservations about using the center.

"It is safe and functional and there is no reason not to reoccupy the building," Cohilas said.