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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- With students returning in less than a month, U of L is having to tear apart part of a dormitory.
The university is trying to get a handle on a problem that could make students sick. The problem is mold. It was found in Threlkeld Hall and two other dorms on campus.
Except for summer classes and occasional visiting campers, this is usually a quiet time of year on U of L's campus. Not this year. Workers are busy tearing apart more than 100 rooms in Threlkeld Hall where mold has been discovered.
"We found that it seems to manifest more on the wood wardrobes, and so we're tearing out all of those wardrobes," said U of L spokesperson Cindy Hess.
Mold was also found in lesser amounts in two other dorms, Unitas Tower and in Miller Hall. Students had to vacate Miller Hall last year after mold was discovered.
There is one common thread. "It is one of the oldest student housing on our campus. Miller Hall is another one of the older buildings, as well as Unitas," said Hess.
Students we talked to say they're concerned, but confident the university will solve the problem. "I know in my room, I want it to be clean. I'm sure if there's mold, I would definitely be worried about my health," said Will Smith.
"After they do the proper amount of cleaning and let everybody know what they did, I think that would help a lot; go a long way as far as making them feel safe," said David Hughes.
But students may be part of the problem. It takes moisture for mold to grow, and U of L suspects rain may be coming in through open windows. "It's believed that maybe some of the windows were open here in Threlkeld that may have caused it to start," said Hess.
"I have seen some windows open, which makes sense," said student Collin Lyman.
U of L says it will launch a campaign to educate students about minimizing moisture; for example, closing windows and properly storing wet items.
But should students be concerned about moving back into these old buildings? "We expect them all to be cleaned up, ready to go. And we will continue to do these inspections throughout the year," said Hess.
U of L is spending a half million dollars to renovate the rooms and clean out the mold before students arrive Aug. 21st. Those wooden wardrobes will be replaced with less mold-friendly laminate.