Wednesday, June 19 2013 10:40 PM EDT2013-06-20 02:40:53 GMT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- On Wednesday, the University of Louisville announced that 270 students had to leave one of the school's residence halls after elevated levels of mold were detected in the hall.
According to a posting on the University's Web site, elevated levels of mold spores were found in Miller Hall.
"While these molds typically do not pose a health risk to most people, they can cause problems at elevated levels -- especially for those with respiratory problems such as asthma, allergies, and those with high sensitivity to mold," the site states.
"To ensure the well being of our students and staff, the University has decided to close Miller Hall for extensive cleaning, remediation and source identification," the site states. "At this time, we do not know when the building will reopen and are preparing for the possibility that it may remain closed for the remainder of the fall 2012 semester."
"You gotta expect stuff like this to happen to live in such a cheap, old, crappy dorm," said Taylor Gackenbach, a freshman in the dorm.
In fact, campus officials say 80 percent of the rooms in Miller Hall have high levels of aspergillus and penicillium molds--which can cause problems for people with allergies, asthma, or compromised immune systems. "We have no indications that there's any illnesses directly related to this at this time," said Dr. Phillip Bressoud, Director of Student Health at UL.
The search for mold started when students made complaints late last month in various dorms. "We found some evidence of small amounts at that point but because we started finding some from time to time in the last few weeks we decided to check the buildings and see what was going on," said Shannon State, Director of Housing at UL.
Levels inside Miller Hall were so high, officials decided to take immediate action. All 270 co-ed freshmen in Miller will have to move everything out by Sunday. The school will put some students up in hotels with a shuttle service to campus, others will be placed in vacant rooms at other dorms. Local students are asked to live at home, and will be reimbursed. A contractor will eradicate the mold--and find out where it's coming from. The problem was not there during routine inspections last month. "Finding mold on hard surfaces a month later, something dramatically changed, we're not sure what that is yet," said Bressoud.
All other dorms are still being assessed while more air quality tests are run. "We won't have all of that probably for another few days. We focused on the building that we felt was the worst at the time," said Staten.
All students are asked to vacate the building by Friday evening, Oct. 12, and remove all personal belongings by 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14.