UGA: 250 complaints about mold in dorms

Some parents of students at the University of Georgia say mold in 60 year-old dorms is making their children sick. UGA officials say they have received 250 complaints since the start of fall semester in August, most of them from students staying in the Hill Hall community, which includes a half dozen dormitories.

From WSB TV…

Channel 2′s Elizabeth Rawlins was in Athens at the 60-year-old Hill Community, which includes six dorms. Parent Rebecca Ethridge, whose daughter lives at Hill Hall, thinks the university isn’t doing enough to properly maintain the air vents and pipes in the buildings.

Etheridge said her daughter has had sinus issues for the entire semester.

“There have been only been a week or so when she felt better but she had also been home,” Etheridge said.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in the last three months, nearly 250 complaints have been filed about potential mold and health concerns inside several dorms.

“It does suck when your throat hurts every night,” one student said.

Etheridge reported pictures to the university of areas and vents that she said appear to be dirty and unmaintained.

“I’ve heard people say it’s dirty,” a student said. “They don’t like to spend a lot of time there if they don’t have to be there.”

Another big complaint from students is dirty air filters. One student said a lot of people have filed work requests to change air filters, but a lot of times it takes a couple of weeks for it to get fixed.

UGA officials issued a statement to Channel 2 Action News, saying:

Since the beginning of the fall semester, University Housing has received 244 reports of potential mold. Many of these reports were concentrated in Creswell Hall (70), Hill Hall (23), Oglethorpe House (20) and Rutherford Hall (12). In both Oglethorpe House and Rutherford Hall, many of these concerns were directed at bathroom showers or ceilings. Staff responded to each request. In most cases, they did not find visible mold.

Where they did encounter visible mold, it was typically in small quantities.

Staff responded immediately by cleaning the surfaces.

Also this fall, University Housing worked with an independent consultant to take a total of 47 air samples of 33 individual student spaces in seven buildings, which included ambient environment samples. The air quality tests did not indicate any additional issues.

After extremely heavy rains in early October, University Housing found that insulation on chilled water pipes in Hill Hall appeared to have mold growing on them. As a result, two tests were immediately initiated: the first to confirm if mold was present and, if so, what type; and the second, a sample-based, air-quality test of Hill Hall to determine the types and concentrations of any mold and fungi that might be present.

While waiting for the test results to come back, University Housing contracted with a vendor to remove and replace the insulation. The work was completed within two weeks.

As part of University Housing’s preventative maintenance, heating and air filters in student rooms and common area spaces are cleaned or replaced either quarterly or semiannually according to the specific filter’s

Etheridge said she’s glad the university is doing something, but she’s not sure that it’s enough.

UGA officials said they have conducted air quality tests, which have not indicated any additional issues.

Tim Bryant

Tim Bryant

Tim Bryant hosts Classic City Today, 6-10 weekday mornings on 98.7FM & AM 1340 WGAU in Athens.



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