Mold exile to be stretched out longer


Mary-Lynn Retassie

A Servpro Restoration worker pulls drywall pieces from a Living/Learning Center room through a window Friday.

Rachel Logan, Features Editor

Of the 26 students required to relocate from their Living/Learning Center rooms, 13 went to live in the Quality Inn along Theatre Drive and half moved into emergency rooms on campus. 

But, as the waiting period to move back into their old rooms stretched longer than the proposed two to five days, some students demanded compensation.

Quality Inn Front Desk Clerk Pat Charney said seven hotel rooms were being used for displaced students over last week. She said students had access to the hotel’s free Wi-Fi, breakfast and pool. 

Charney said Pitt-Johnstown affiliates were able to get rooms at a discounted price, which she did not disclose. Normal rates for double king bed rooms were $122 last week.

Sophomore Lacey Nye said she and her roommate went to live in a Maple Hall emergency room.

“It is actually nice being back in Maple (Hall), since this is where both my roommate and I lived last year. It is actually convenient, in a way, being closer to classes and the Student Union,” Nye said. 

She said Tuesday that she had brought only daily items with her to the first-year hall, including school materials and toiletries, and that she looked forward to moving back to the center. 

On Thursday, however, came news: some targeted rooms were to have new, treated drywall installed, which may take a week or two for students to be able to return, according to an email from Student Affairs Vice President Chris Stumpf.

Stumpf wrote that contractors were taking extra precautions to prevent further moisture problems in the rooms. 

“This involves removing drywall and replacing it with a specially treated product that is moisture resistant. Your health and wellness is top priority.”

“We are anticipating at least one additional week, possibly two, to complete the work,” the email said.

The email listed two options for students staying on campus: stay in their temporary room until work is complete and then move back to their original rooms, or stay in their temporary rooms for the remainder of the semester.

Housing Director Bob Knipple identified Servpro Restoration as the company working on center rooms. He said two rooms were clear to be moved into by Friday.

Nye said she was disappointed when she heard about the delay.

“This is obviously way more than the original expected ‘two to five nights.’ They gave us the option of staying here for the entire semester; however, I am most definitely not going to do that,” Nye said.

Senior Abby Becker was placed in Oak Hall and had similar views.

“I was placed in Oak (Hall) because I don’t have any transportation of my own and didn’t want to deal with the school’s unreliable shuttle system.

“Oak isn’t great because of the thin walls in the freshman dorms, so I can hear my suitemates talking while I try to study or sleep, which is incredibly inconvenient—and the loss of the solo bathroom is somewhat jarring as well,” she said.

Bekker said she brought library books, a week’s worth of clothing and her plants with her to the temporary room.

She said Tuesday she looked forward to moving back to her privacy and better amenities, and wouldn’t consider the temporary room a permanent solution.

Thursday, after the email, Bekker said, “I’d still like to go back to the (Living/Learning Center), since I paid an extra $400 for it.”

Bekker said she emailed Stumpf back after receiving the email, requesting more compensation than the $100 of Mt. Cat Cash originally dispersed.

Knipple said that a rebate is being provided on housing for students who have had to relocate.

Senior Nick Begonia was able to move into a Quality Inn room, and had three points to make about it.

“One, it’s off-campus,” he said. He said that it was a hassle having to get to class from farther away.

“Two, the Wi-Fi is nonexistent, so it’s impossible to do schoolwork there.

“Three, the AC is loud—but that’s a me problem. It is cooler to have someone make your bed every day, though.”

Begonia was able to move back into his Living/Learning Center room Thursday, and said there was no evidence of his drywall having been replaced.