FHSU Dealing With Mold Issue

Fort Hays State University is dealing with issues surrounding potential mold in some student housing.

According to the school, in response to recent social and news media reports regarding the presence of mold in Victor E. Village and McMindes Hall, the university has taken steps to deal with it. The goal will always be to maintain a safe and healthy environment for our students, employees, and campus visitors.

The school says the university learned of a student’s concern about possible mold in a residence hall space in late August, and acted swiftly to address the issue. The FHSU Residence Life staff also emailed all students living in campus residence halls to encourage them to submit work orders if they had environmental health and safety concerns with their living conditions.

FHSU then secured the services of ISI Environmental, a nationally recognized environmental health and safety consulting firm based in Wichita. On Sept. 13, ISI inspected 20 rooms in Victor E. Village and McMindes Hall, a common area in McMindes Hall, and two outdoor spaces near the two buildings. While on-site, the ISI industrial hygienist recommended that we clean several vents and spaces, and our maintenance and custodial staff quickly completed that work.

A final inspection report from ISI Environmental was received on October 24. The report revealed low to moderate levels of two common potential allergen mold types. Mold spores are present indoors and out, and their growth can be fueled by the indoor presence of dust, lingering trash, recyclables, clothing, and towels that retain dirt and moisture. Mold spores can also enter a space by introducing outside, unconditioned air.

FHSU is committed to promptly responding to any concern related to mold or other environmental health and safety concerns in buildings. An email was sent Thursday to on-campus students and employees that encouraged them to submit a work order if they had environmental health and safety concerns about their living and work spaces. Students and employees were also encouraged to seek medical attention if they know or believe they might have specific allergen sensitivities but have yet to be tested.

FHSU is currently in discussions with ISI regarding a possible follow-up inspection of Victor E. Village and McMindes Hall as early as next week.