Minton Hall ready for residents by fall semester

Minton Hall should reopen in time to house students for the Fall 2019 semester. The building was previously emptied of residents in November 2018 due to mold found in mechanical spaces in the building.

Emily DeLetter

In November 2018, 384 residents of Minton Hall were abruptly relocated to other residence halls across campus due to mold found in mechanical spaces within the building. Now, almost four months after the renovations were initially promised to be finished, Minton is slated to be ready for new students to move in by August.

A 2018 Herald investigation found more than 500 reports of mold were made within the past year. Looking at submitted maintenance requests, 473 reports were made in residence halls.

The dorm with the most reports was Pearce-Ford Tower with a total of 111 maintenance requests reporting mold as of Monday, Nov. 12. Bemis-Lawrence Hall had the second most with 100, followed by Minton with 46.

Renovations began on Minton after students were placed in other residence halls and were initially told the building would reopen for the Spring 2019 semester.

Less than a week before the semester began, the former Minton residents were sent an email notifying them the building would not be ready and construction would continue during the spring.

With the spring semester almost complete, Bob Skipper, director of media relations, said in an email that WKU has undergone a comprehensive review of conditions in all residence halls.

Skipper said the field work for the facility condition assessment, which is the first step, has been completed, and WKU is now awaiting the final report. Operational studies have been initiated of the chilled water system, Minton’s HVAC system and other mechanical systems as well as “additional studies” within the facilities.

“As you may know, mold growth requires food (carbon based materials), water and mold spores (or roots),” Skipper said. “Our efforts have been focused on determining how best to eliminate one or more of these requirements. The operational studies enable us to better control the indoor air quality and the ability to prevent condensation (water). The facility condition study enables us to identify and correct leaks and other issues, and the additional studies enable us to identify other risk points for one or more of the three requirements for mold growth.”

Any and all work is being completed under Facilities Management, which is currently performing or has completed work in Minton and all residence halls.

In Minton, there has been removal and replacement of carpet baseboards, removal and replacement of cork and other porous and carbon-based communication boards, mechanical scrubbing and treatment of floor surfaces in shower rooms and restrooms and a wash treatment of wood surfaces to kill mold “roots.”

Skipper said all halls have gone under corrective maintenance, repairs, cleaning and filter replacements for all room HVAC units, plumbing repairs of identified leaks and removal and replacement of drywall where water penetrated or mold was visible.

Assistant News Editor Emily DeLetter can be reached at 270-745-6011 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @emilydeletter.