High Reports of Mold across Campus

High+Reports+of+Mold+across+Campus

Lianna Brown ’22 , Contributing Writer

Mold has cropped up in residence halls for another year in a row, causing concern and frustration amongst students. Residents with mold in their rooms have been relocated, some out of the building altogether.

“This is keeping us busy this year,” said Kristen Kostecky, associate vice president for Campus Operations. She said the mold is due to the summer’s “combination of the wet and rain, and a very long spell of humidity.”

Ashley Morrison Zink, director of Compliance and Enterprise Risk Management said that in September, 91 work orders that contained the word “mold” were submitted from students, residence life staff and facilities management staff. Zink said “please note that mold was not found in each of these situations.” 

Associate Dean of Students Angie Harris reported that 17 students have been temporarily relocated “for varying lengths of time, some out of necessity and some at the student’s request.” 

This number of relocations is “unusual like the… wet weather we have had this summer,” said Harris. 

Kostecky said mold has been found in academic and residential buildings, including Kaufman, Davison-Wilson, Goodyear, Morgan, Longsdorff, Cooper, Baird-McClintock and Drayer, all to “varying” degrees. 

Zink said that “mold abatement expenses, which include cleaning services from an external contractor and rental of dehumidifiers are still being received.” 

“Because it’s a work in progress we don’t have a full [expense] tally yet,” said Zink. 

Kostecky said gradual renovations help to combat growing mold. This includes installing new windows, breathable grills and fans, as well as insulation replacement. “As we are able to renovate buildings, we’re installing different types of air handling systems,” said Kostecky.

Kisner-Woodward “was renovated and we haven’t had any reports of mold” from that building this year, said Kostecky. 

Liz Ward ’21 and Emily Benson ’21 reported 12 inches of mold on the ceiling of their suite in Morgan to Facilities Management on Sept. 4. They were relocated with their roommate, Olivia Brown ’21, to apartments in downtown Carlisle on Sept. 7.

Facilities staff said the mold growth was due to high humidity in the room. The humidity was at about 70 percent when it was supposed to be around 40 to 60 percent, Brown said.

Brown said that from the time the work order was placed to when facilities arrived, mold had grown on her side of the room. Kostecky said that the lag in response time “was an outlier. Most of the time we’re there within the day, within a couple hours.” 

To deal with the mold, facilities workers first placed dehumidifiers in the hallways of Morgan Hall and cleaned out the mold in the room. 

The room underwent intense cleaning after mold grew back. Facilities removed part of the ceiling, rewrapped a section of the water pipe, changed the insulation covering and redid some drywall and paint.

“We get a lot of condensation on the chilled water pipes, and that eventually leads to mold,” said Kostecky.

Kostecky said students can help combat mold by not opening their windows, which lets in humid air, and by keeping damp clothes out of the room.