Mold at Hocking College causes concern after at least 4 students sickened, custodian says

(WSYX/WTTE)

Hocking College started cleaning up mold in some dorm rooms just days before classes begin, but some students had already been living there and needed to be moved out.

Hocking Heights dorm is ground zero for clean up after complaints of mold. A custodian at the college tells ABC 6 On Your Side investigators at least 4 students got sick.

Custodian Rhonda Martin donned a face mask as she gave us a tour of the dorm.

“Some of us sprayed it yesterday and it came right back shortly after,” said Martin.

The hallway was littered with trash and cleaning supplies. There were no signs of students, just custodians.

In one dorm room, you could see what appears to be mold all over the ceiling and walls. Martin says mold has been a problem for as long as she’s worked there, since 2005.

However, Hocking College’s Tim Brunicardi says that is not the case.

“Not that I’m aware of I think we were made aware of it earlier in this summer because athletes moved here so as soon as we found out we rolled into a plan where we could get them out immediately,” said Brunicardi.

Brunicardi says a combination of things could be the cause for the mold.

“It’s very humid this time of year if students put something up close to the air conditioner, it won’t shut off the cold air keeps bouncing back and we think the moisture built up because of that,” said Brunicardi.

About 30 students were moved into newer dorms for the rest of the semester as renovations and clean up happens at the older dorm.

“We do have a special product that our facilities uses it’s a product they spray and clean the mold off we’re going to make sure we get that clean and make sure the rooms are rearranged so there’s a clear path for the air conditioning system because the moisture builds up if there’s something put against the air conditioner,” said Brunicardi.

Martin isn’t convinced it’s working and thinks the building should be torn down. She says she wouldn’t put her family here.

“I would not let them stay here I would not pay I wouldn’t let them stay here for free I’m sorry I wouldn’t,” said Martin.

Hocking College says new air conditioners are on order for the dorm and should arrive on campus in the next few weeks. Classes start on Monday.

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