By: Sandy Pfeiffer
I’m writing you to provide some information regarding mold and air quality in Sunderland residence hall, and to let you know about the work we are doing there to address the issues.
First, I want you to know that our tests show that the residential floors are free of dangerous mold. Sunderland has been tested thoroughly by both the College’s Facilities Management team and an environmental services contractor who reported no significant findings in any of the samples taken. The only mold discovered was located in the basement where there are no student living spaces. The mold has been removed and mitigation of wet spots continues in the basement and throughout the building.
More recently, we’ve heard from Sunderland residents who have noticed an increase in humidity in their rooms. Facilities Management traced this problem to the air conditioning system and made adjustments last Friday to help lower humidity levels. In addition, an HVAC contractor is inspecting Sunderland today (Sept. 18) and will recommend any further steps we need to take to improve and stabilize the cooling system.
At the same time we’re dealing with Sunderland, our health center has seen an increase in the number of respiratory illnesses on campus. The Buncombe County Health Center is likewise reporting a spike in respiratory illness in our region – a typical phenomenon for this time of year in Western North Carolina.
Sunderland residents who are concerned about their health in relation to air quality, or those who have a preexisting respiratory or immune deficiency condition, should contact Jon Verner (ext. 2071) to discuss available options. Sunderland residents should also inform Resident Director Natalie Nimmer of any problems with the thermostat or heating/cooling system in their rooms so that repairs can be made before the problem escalates.
Facilities Management is monitoring Sunderland closely as work continues, and our Student Life staff is making sure students have the resources and information they need. I will keep the community updated on progress in Sunderland as we work to improve the living conditions for its residents.