CSS renovations planned after mold issues

Two professors were relocated from their offices in Cornell Hall for the Social Sciences (CSS) due to mold growth, while others are packing up in preparation to move out for the summer. This is the result of ongoing difficulties with controlling the moisture and humidity in CSS.

Significant renovations will be done to CSS over the summer. This includes removing ceiling and ductwork, replacing all exterior windows, and installing a new HVAC system, all in order to remedy the remaining causes of the high-moisture environment within classrooms and faculty offices. For this reason, professors are packing up and moving their possessions out of their offices.

Members of Facilities Management and Campus Safety did not respond to questions about the renovations.

During the packing process, professors have come across further evidence of water intrusion, including stains on furniture that had not been moved in years. The majority of this water damage is a remnant of problems CSS faced over the course of this past summer and during Hurricane Irma.

Last summer, the roof of CSS was replaced. However, during the process of replacing the roof, a severe storm occurred, causing water damage and mold growth. This water damage was then exacerbated by Hurricane Irma.

Air quality testing conducted throughout July, August, and September exposed high counts of mold spores in three office spaces on the second floor of CSS. Additional testing by Professional Service Industries (PSI), Inc., a local environmental engineering firm, confirmed these results.

The majority of water intrusion was remedied upon the completion of re-roofing CSS. This was confirmed by additional air quality tests conducted by Campus Safety and PSI, Inc.

Walter P. Moore, a nationally-recognized forensic engineering firm, was brought in to determine other possible causes of water intrusion. These tests found that there were two main problems causing the water intrusion, high humidity, and mold growth in CSS: structural leaks in the roof and windows and outdated HVAC systems.

To remedy these problems, Facilities Management is taking the necessary steps to renovate CSS.

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