IU officials set up ‘command center’ to address mounting mold problems

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana University officials say it may be a few weeks before the campus mold problem is under control.

Since the beginning of the school year, the university has been battling issues with mold inside hundreds of dorm rooms.

“The number of rooms that we’ve had reports on is in the low 800s,” said Executive Vice President for University Academic Affairs John Applegate.

To address the mounting reports, campus officials have set up an incident management center. Center staff track mold reports, manage resources and share information with students and parents, a task that has become a full-time job as of late.

“We are working this. We’ve been making and all hands-on deck effort to address this,” Applegate said.

The university believes a warmer, lengthier and more humid summer and fall has led to the mold problem. However, as issues continue the patience of students and parents is wearing thin. A class action lawsuit filed in mid-October against school trustees is now moving through the courts and concerned parents have now formed a Facebook group to share their frustrations.

Those affected the most say the problem is becoming a lot to handle.

“Miserable, I don’t know, stressful, and unpredictable too,” student Isabelle Trusty said.

“We’ve been in a hotel or moving from hotel to hotel for like two weeks now,” student Payton Stewart added.

Applegate said the university is stepping up remediation efforts and working to clear residence hall HVAC systems, carpets, walls, and anything that could carry mold spores. Though he adds it may be close to the end of the semester before the problem is completely solved.

“So what I’m hoping is that by the end of this week the great bulk of that work will be done, and we will be spending the rest of the next few weeks working on individual cases and follow up,” Applegate said.

While the residence halls have seen the biggest issues with mold Applegate said mold problems have been found in other buildings across campus.

To report mold problems to IU officials, click here.

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