Mold found in Fraternity Complex

Written by Muleskinner Staff

by Steven Spears
News Editor
(WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG) — Students looking forward to living in the Fraternity Complex this semester will have to wait a few weeks.
The university hired a firm, Roth Environmental, to test the air quality last week after a custodial crew saw what they thought was mold in the complex.
“By Friday all of the tests were in and it did show that there were levels of mold in the building,” said Jeff Murphy, assistant director of University Relations. “Fortunately, there was no black mold.”
Murphy said that all 114 students planning to reside in the complex were relocated to Diemer Hall prior to the air tests. He said the students and their parents have since been notified about the complex’s positive tests for mold.
Murphy said the private company ServiceMaster started cleaning the complex Friday. To ensure no mold is left in the facility, the university is replacing mattresses and desk chairs for each unit, which means the cleanup will take between two and four weeks.
“Before we allow the students to return, we’ll test for mold levels,” Murphy said. “If it’s safe we’ll allow students to return.”
David Rogers, Sigma Pi member, said a lot of students are frustrated with the move to Diemer.
“It’s pretty hot,” Rogers said. “The university put portable A/C units in the lounges to help with that. A lot of people have fans. But it’s nice because you’re living with people that you’re really close to, so we kind of just try to stay positive. But it would be an understatement to say that it’s not comfortable living there.”
Rogers said a lot of the fraternities are upset about how the housing situation affects recruitment efforts.
“We use the units to recruit,” he said. “We had to change our rush events to different locations on campus because (the university) won’t even let us use the grounds on the fraternity complex.”
Rogers said the university has been flexible with finding space to host recruitment events.
Murphy said Campus Evolution, a local apartment complex, offered to house some of the displaced students. He said at least 18 of the students who were moved to Diemer have taken advantage of the new housing option.
Rogers said this is not the first maintenance issue the Fraternity Complex has faced.
The complex had several flooding issues this past academic year, including one case that gained President Chuck Ambrose’s attention via Twitter. Delta Chi members living in the complex tweeted pictures of the flooded areas to Ambrose at the end of January, prompting university administration to address the matter.
“There have always been issues with the Fraternity Complex,” Rogers said. “But for the most part the university does a good job of addressing those concerns. Maybe not always in the most timely manner, (but) that building is falling apart. It’s been around since the ‘50s. It’s time for them to start looking for other Greek housing options.”
Rogers said students need to talk about their housing concerns to make change at the university.
“Housing is something that needs to be addressed in general – not just with the Fraternity Complex,” he said. “(Saying) ‘hey, these are my concerns, this is what I want to see’ is what’s going to get new dorms, is what’s going to get renovations in the master plan for the university in the next year or two.”
Murphy said the university will do additional air quality testing in the Fraternity Complex as the semester progresses and students begin moving back in. “Later in the semester we’ll take additional tests to see if there’s any recurrence just to make sure it’s safe,” Murphy said. “We appreciate the cooperation of all the students who are relocating to Diemer.”
Patrick Bradley, director of housing and dining services, said the relocation of students to Diemer will not delay the hall’s planned renovation since it was designated for overflow housing.