August 23, 2002
MADISON, Ind. — The technology building on the Madison campus of Ivy Tech State College has been closed because of mold contamination and is not expected to reopen.
The report by Environmental Safety Technologies Inc. of Louisville said the indoor air quality throughout most of the building was hazardous because of the level of mold spores. The building was closed Aug. 6 after tests found high levels of aspergillus versicolor, penicillium and stachybotrys spores. Region 11 Chancellor James Helms said Thursday it is unlikely the building will be reopened. Stachybotrys is usually not released into the air in detectable amounts unless the conditions are ripe for dispersal, according to the report. The source of the mold could not be determined.
Environmental Safety Technologies recommended that the building not be reopened without removing all carpet, insulation, drywall and ceiling, followed by treatment in accordance with federal environmental standards. “There are important questions about how this problem is best remedied,” Helms said. “Our primary focus continues to be the health and safety of our students and employees, and we won’t consider reopening this facility if we can’t be absolutely certain that there would be no exposure to mold.”
Although not everyone has allergic reactions to the molds found in the building, at high enough levels over a prolonged time the exposure could cause problems for anyone, said Amy Anderson, infection control nurse at Kings Daughters Hospital. Helms and Madison campus Dean Don Heiderman said there have been no health problems related to the building formally reported by students, faculty or staff.