Most of you are probably aware of the concerns surrounding Hanson Hall and the College’s general response to residential facility issues that were discussed at the Student Senate meeting earlier this week and reported in the Gettysburgian. We take these concerns seriously, and I’m writing today to share some facts and inform you of our next steps.
In early January, air quality and visual assessments were conducted in Hanson Hall basement. Moisture and mold were found above the ceilings in some rooms, and the College decided to move students from the basement to other accommodations.
The College then retained an environmental consultant, Compliance Management International (CMI), to complete a comprehensive assessment of the entire building. Visual assessments revealed the presence of some mold on the first and second floors and in some limited areas of the third floor.
Despite the fact that air quality was normal on the upper floors, our focus on the health and safety of our students led us to make the decision to take action immediately rather than wait until the summer as originally communicated to residents. We are currently working with a bioremediation professional, INX Technology Corporation of PA, to clean and remove the mold from Hanson Hall.
Earlier this evening we shared the following information with Hanson basement residents:
- Despite the change in scope, we have decided that the right thing to do is to honor our original commitment to provide priority for next year’s housing for those who lived in Hanson basement in the fall and who had to be permanently relocated.
- As previously communicated, all Hanson residents will receive a $250 credit. These funds are meant to help defray the cost of replacing or cleaning items.
Broader residential concerns:
You may have heard about other concerns raised at the Senate meeting regarding the College’s response to facility work orders in our residence halls.
- To improve our responsiveness to facility issues in residence halls, we will work with Student Senate to form a committee of students, Facilities staff, and Residence Life staff to provide us with recommendations. I will ask the committee to submit those recommendations before the end of the academic year.
- We are committed to working with our consultants to review every residence hall for mold this summer. Based on this review, we will develop a plan to address any issues that are identified. The College’s plan will be available to members of the College community next fall.
- The College will strengthen its air quality/mold remediation protocol. Although we already have a protocol in place, we have heard from students that it needs to be more transparent and more user-friendly. In the near future, we will add a link to the student landing page for ease of access.
- The College will add a room-by-room visual inspection for mold as part of the summer room-check process in order to be more proactive in identifying issues if they arise.
I want to conclude by saying that I appreciate those students who have brought these concerns forward. I trust that by working together on these issues, we will improve the residential experience for all students.
Janet Morgan Riggs ’77