Air quality needs clarified

Seven weeks into the Pitt-Johnstown school year, mold has been cleaned multiple times across campus, and students have been moved out from their dorms.

Last Monday, 26 Living/Learning Center residents had to clear out their rooms and relocate to the Quality Inn along Theatre Drive or temporary emergency housing on campus.

According to an email sent out by Housing Director Bob Knipple and Student Affairs Vice President Chris Stumpf, Servpro Restoration workers were to begin cleaning affected rooms after students were done moving out, and that it would take between two to five days to complete.

Now it looks as though that will be a week or two.

Stumpf said that the air quality in the rooms was at a safe level, but it was elevated.  Knipple said that there were no health risks or active mold, but conditions were favorable for mold.

Air quality and humidity are two different things.  Humidity is just uncomfortable, but a problem in the air quality can be dangerous.  When the air quality is reported as elevated but safe, what is being measured? What exactly are the measurements?  How is the quality not acceptable?

A four-hour question-and-answer session with Stumpf was held Oct. 5 to discuss the mold issue and the relocation of students.

It was a good idea for administrators to hold the question-and-answer session.  It gave students an opportunity to voice their opinions and ask questions regarding the matter.

Even with administrators willing to answer student questions, there are many questions that go unanswered.  Students are being assured that air quality is safe, but what is safe?

With each mold incident, there is an escalating response but questions about safety still remain.  We feel like administrators need to be open with students about what exactly they are doing, and not keep us worried that their safety could potentially be at risk.