Well this is no way to start off college life. Miller Hall, a coed freshman dorm with 270 residents, is closing due to high levels of mold. Eighty percent of the dorm’s rooms reportedly have mold growing.
Students will move to hotels or U of L affiliated housing. The university is also asking students from the Louisville area to move back home for the remainder of the fall semester as Miller Hall undergoes remediation. (That will kill the college experience.) A U of L spokesperson says students won’t incur any extra costs due to the move, which is probably not a large comfort to students who (if they’re from Kentucky) are paying close to $5,000 per semester to attend U of L.
Also, if students move back home they won’t be charged for breaking their housing contract and will be reimbursed.
Built in 1964, Miller Hall has 135 rooms. Last month, a few students from various residence halls complained about possible mold. The university hired a team of environmental specialists to inspect the rooms and public areas of all residence halls while students were on fall break beginning last Friday.
The visual inspections and subsequent air sampling found elevated levels of mold spores. From the university’s press office:
“The mold spores have been preliminarily identified as aspergillus and penicillium, which are common in the environment. At normal levels, they are not a health hazard for most people but can be irritating and cause problems for people with allergies, asthma, respiratory problems or mold sensitivity. However, the levels of mold spores detected in portions of Miller Hall were high, and officials decided to move all students until the building can be completely cleaned and the source of the mold growth found and remediated.”
Students must be out of Miller Hall by Friday night.
During a press conference Wednesday afternoon Dr. Phillip Bressoud, Director of Health Services at U of L, stated that a visual check of Miller Hall before school began did not show any signs of mold. So something “dramatically changed.”
Bressoud said a review of student records shows 15 of the 270 Miller Hall residents have visited health services over the last few months. But he stated there’s no clear indication that the illnesses they were treated for were directly linked to mold.