Townhouse Row residents will return to their residential buildings on campus next week nearly a month after they were relocated to local hotels because of water leaks and mold growth in their rooms.
The University scheduled returning students’ move-in dates for Monday, Wednesday and Friday of next week after True North, a licensed mold assessment company, completes air quality tests and provides written clearances for residents to reoccupy the townhouses, according to an email sent to residents and their families Friday and obtained by The Hatchet. The air quality inspections took place Wednesday and Thursday and will continue Monday and Tuesday, according to the email issued by the Division for Safety and Facilities and the Division for Student Affairs.
“We want you to know once again that we really appreciate your patience and understanding through this situation,” the email reads. “We realize that your temporary move was sudden and unexpected, and it has altered your back-to-school routines greatly.”
One hundred seventy-five students living in Townhouse Row have spent the last three weeks living in hotels off campus after they were evacuated earlier this months when officials received reports of “environmental concerns” in the buildings. Some building residents said they visited the hospital after experiencing cold- and flu-like symptoms, like nasal congestion, fevers and fits of coughing up blood, earlier this month after spotting mold growth in their rooms on campus
The email states that True North completed air quality tests in the townhouses belonging to Sigma Chi and Alpha Phi, and residents in those buildings may return Monday.
Officials established “tentative” move-in slots for residents in Beta Theta Pi and Alpha Delta Pi scheduled for Wednesday following testing that was completed Thursday, according to the email. Officials said they will confirm the move-in dates for these chapters by Monday.
The University also assigned Friday as a tentative move-in date for members of Sigma Kappa, Kappa Delta, the National Pan-Hellenic Council and Sigma Delta Tau, whose buildings will be tested Monday and Tuesday, the email states. Officials said they will confirm Friday’s move-in by Wednesday.
Building clearance notification may take two to three days after air quality testing, according to the email. The email states that professional movers will help residents transport their belongings from the hotels back to Townhouse Row.
Inspectors contacted by the University previously discovered water damage and mold throughout Townhouse Row, according to a separate email sent to building residents last week and obtained by The Hatchet. The water damaged ceiling boards and wallboards in the buildings, where True North employees also detected mold growth following thermal imaging and moisture analysis, the email states.
The email states officials would remove the ceiling boards and wallboards and check the space behind them for any more potential water damage or mold growth, which would be “abrasively cleaned” with an “anti-microbial agent” and a vacuum equipped with a high efficiency particulate air filter.
“While findings varied in each townhouse, True North has identified multiple areas of water damaged wallboards and ceiling boards, which in some cases have been impacted by suspected mold growth,” the email reads. “These wallboards and ceiling boards will be removed and the space behind them inspected for any additional water damage and mold growth.”