Cleanup delay spreads mold

Students residing in the Living/Learning Center faced complications when mold started growing in their dorm rooms.

Since Aug. 26, when students moved in for the semester, Pitt-Johnstown administrators received 52 mold reports from students, ranging in different rooms from just a little bit on the wall to covering parts of furniture.

Mold was originally found around two weeks before students moved in, but it was cleaned by maintenance and the building was assumed to be clear.

However, the mold came back and got worse, and, according to Dining and Housing Services Director Bob Knipple, problems with the heating ventilation and air conditioning system caused it.

One of the problems that arises from this issue is the timeliness of the staff response.  

Why, when the mold was first discovered, was nothing more than a simple cleaning done? It was only after so many mold reports were received administration took action and got professional cleaning.

The mold was found not to be dangerous, but how did administrators know?  What if the mold problem could have been more serious and students could have gotten sick from it?

We feel administrators should have taken action sooner than they did.  There was enough time between finding the mold and students moving in for a professional cleaning to be done.

It apparently has become the students’ responsibility to check for mold and monitor the dorm rooms.

We understand that administrators are now doing what they can to make sure the dorm rooms are safe, but we feel that action should have been initiated sooner to avoid dislocations.  We also feel that there should be a routine check from administrators to make sure mold is not returning, and that it should not be left up to the students to check.

Student safety should always be a priority, and we hope that administrators can control this issue and assure students that they and their rooms will  be safe and mold-free.