Students living in Wray, Hoover and Ewing houses, located on Ohio University’s South Green, have reported spotting mold in various locations of their residence hall rooms.
Carly Leatherwood, an OU spokesperson, said the university has received work requests from students in those buildings regarding mold within their rooms.
One student also reported feeling sick due to the suspected mold in their room, Leatherwood said. However, OU has not yet confirmed that the student’s illness was related to mold.
Mold can be found in almost every environment and can be detected, both indoors and outdoors, year round, Jim Sabin, an OU spokesperson, said. Due to the threat mold can pose for students living in such an environment, the university has a process in place to eliminate it.
Since receiving the reports of mold on South Green, the university has done testing to determine if the substances found in those buildings is mold, Leatherwood said. The results of the tests are not yet available, though OU has cleaned the dorms and substances were found.
The air conditioning ventilation systems in Hoover and Ewing houses were either replaced or cleaned over the summer, Leatherwood said.
“Due to added COVID-19 precautions and reduced staffing levels on the Facilities Management and Safety team, two residence halls with window air conditioning units remained to be cleaned prior to student return to campus this fall,” Leatherwood said in an email. “The cleaning or replacing of units in these buildings, which was not completed over the summer, is currently in progress.”
The student who reported feeling sick due to mold had the air conditioning unit in their room replaced.
Leatherwood said she and the university encourage students to learn more about mold, what it is, where it can be found and how students can prevent mold from growing. The university said it has rarely found black mold in its buildings.
However, Leatherwood said mold has historically been present in OU buildings — especially when Athens is experiencing higher than normal humidity, temperatures and moisture.
Jillian Craig contributed to this report.