Tests done in Gale Hall by Professional Service Industries, Inc. (PSI), a local environmental engineering firm called in by Rollins, show that mold growth was found in multiple rooms within the building, including the Chapter Room and three residents’ rooms.
Before spring break, PSI was brought in to conduct further air-quality testing and to assess the building for possible causes of mold growth. Their observations were followed by using a tape/lift sample of the coils of the AC units and the ceilings and walls of different rooms.
PSI’s executive summary, provided by Leon Hayner of Residential Life and Explorations (Res. Life), stated that multiple air conditioning units had dust build-up in the air filters and supply air fins, indicating improper cleaning.
High concentrations of mold spores were found on the supply air fins of one of the air-conditioning units in the Chapter Room. The summary also confirmed the presence of mold on the ceilings of certain students’ rooms.
PSI also took moisture measurements of accessible drywall on the east side of Gale Hall. These tests indicated that there was not any water intrusion in the building.
In response to these findings, Facilities Management and Res. Life conducted maintenance work in Gale Hall over spring break.
PSI recommended that solid surfaces in the Chapter Room and the students’ rooms with mold growth be wiped down and cleaned with an Environmental Protection Agency-approved sanitizer. It was also recommended that all linen, fabric-coated surfaces, and carpets within these rooms be dry-cleaned.
The sanitation processes were carried out over the course of spring break. Res. Life is currently working with the residents of Gale Hall to transport large fabric items to a dry-cleaning facility if requested.
Facilities also cleaned and replaced all air-conditioning filters as needed. Also, all windows in Gale Hall were sealed to prevent residents from opening them, and thermostats were updated to limit the air-conditioning set points between 72 and 76 degrees. This maintenance work was conducted in order to control moisture within Gale Hall.
After spring break, Facilities, Res. Life, and Campus Safety conducted a meeting with the residents of Gale Hall. In this meeting, residents were presented with a summary of the results of the tests conducted by PSI, informed of what work was done over spring break, and given a Frequently Asked Questions list with answers about indoor air quality. Residents were also informed of what they can do to reduce moisture in their environment.
Currently, Res. Life is working on reforming and refining its communication process in regard to indoor air-quality concerns. If you have any concerns about indoor air quality in your living space, please contact the Office of Residential Life and Explorations.