by Lauren Ansell
Penn State Altoona has four residence halls, Oak, Maple, Spruce, and the newest building, Cedar, has recently come into contact with mold. This is the only building built in the 1990s, and it is a fair question whether the original architectural design is the cause for this apparent mold outbreak. This isn’t the case, as Tim Kershner, Director of strategic communications of Altoona, said, “It’s not an issue with piping or HVAC system, it’s just wherever this chilled water comes through to feed the ac units.” The moisture in the piping and the recent Altoona weather is to blame for the occuring mold situation.
The first two floors of Cedar were effected by mold, while the other two remain uncontaminated. At first students were asked to evacuate Cedar for one day for Contractor Mellon Restoration cleaning the room but then needed to go in and have students leave for a longer duration. At first, Kershner was told that the Cedar residence hall needed more time to “allow us to move some furniture around and check behind the units.” Kershner refers to the hired cleaning agency, Mellon Restoration, as “us” in his previous comment.
Penn State Altoona has multiple contact forms for concerned people to ask questions to the college concerning the recent mold inconvenience. Below are the different websites for people to reach out to Penn State, or find out more information:
Kershner found out that Contractor Mellon Restoration assigned to clean 65 rooms throughout the first, and parts of the second floor. Phase two for students moved out of the resident hall on Oct. 12. Students in phase one moved back into Cedar on Oct. 11. That students are told that they will only remain in the hotel between seven to 10 days. The students that just returned had stayed in the hotel for only seven days.
The students are staying in the Wingate by Wyndham Altoona hotel in rooms with a resident assistant living in the hotel for residential assistance. Kershner stresses that students are expected to “follow all campus rules” when staying in the hotel. Transportation is provided to and from the Altoona Metro Transit bus transportation, which is a service that is provided to every Penn State Altoona student within their academic tuition.