Mold on campus has always been something of concern in years’ past and recently, there has been mold found in both residence halls and buildings where classes are held.
Mold was spotted in a quad apartment in Anderson, a Founders Woods apartment building, just two weeks into the 2015 -2016 school year, according to resident, Kyle Bock. In one of the bathrooms, the mold was found on the ceiling by Bock and his roommate, Andrew Hotze. Bock said he and Hotze contacted maintenance and it took them over a week to reply to the message, come in and check out the situation. The mold was back within another week according to Bock. This time, the school hired outside contractors to come and help with the situation. The contractors cut a hole in the ceiling of the bathroom that exposed the mold that was trapped in the walls. The hole was left open and the residents were told they were okay to use the bathroom still Bock stated.
“Our Facilities Management team immediately addressed these types of unforeseen issues, and will always contact a professional environmental consulting firm to correct. Benedictine University’s primary responsibility and concern is always for the health, safety and well-being of all our students, faculty, staff and guests,” said Chad Treisch, Facilities Management Executive Director.
“After showering in that bathroom for two weeks, we began to feel sick and got in contact with the school again. Someone told us we were going to need to move out for seven to nine days. Yet, we still had to live there for five more days in unsafe living conditions,” explained Bock. The men were temporarily relocated to different apartments for two weeks and were ultimately able to return and finish out the semester.
Bock believed the mold made him sick to the point where he needed to go to the hospital. “I was feeling terrible for weeks, so my mom took me to the hospital and the doctor determined it was most definitely because of the mold that was in my apartment,” he stated.
One of Bock’s roommates also had issues with mold. Chris Rafacz was in the same apartment as Bock with the mold outbreak last year, and he ran into the same issues again this fall. “I came back to school early for athletic training and when I was moving in, I was informed that I had to switch apartments across the hall because they had found mold in my apartment”, said Rafacz. Not only did he start the year this way, but just a couple weeks ago, Rafacz and his roommates found a pool of water in their bedrooms.
Rafacz says they contacted maintenance immediately and found there was mold when maintenance tore into the walls of one of the bathrooms. The four men were forced to move out of the apartment for the time being and have yet to return. As for what the process has been like to remove the mold from the apartment, Rafacz’s girlfriend, Aliya Murray, was present for a meeting with some staff members and the roommates. According to Murray, a staff member said they sometimes use a type of paint, “Kilz”, to try and kill the surface mold. However, according to Rafacz, the mold was actually inside their walls.