Torrington, WY – Eastern Wyoming College has closed a student apartment building after finding black mold inside the building. College President Jack Bottenfield said arrangements have been made to house the residents of the apartments in coed dormitories, making the occupancy five to a room instead of the standard four. However, the state fire marshal still must approve these temporary living arrangements. Due to the mold infestation problem, they are hoping they will. Many types of indoor mold have been identified as a national health crisis causing permanent neurological, pathological, immunological and psychological damage.
Ed Kroenlein, the college’s physical plant director, blamed the mold on leaks in the buildings roof and windows. Kroenlein said the building was built in 1975. Buildings constructed in this time frame are very susceptible to fungal growth as they were built very closed up to save on energy consumption, along with many newer construction low cost buildings made with economical building materials that are not practical for long term use.
Bottenfield said the school’s options to solve the mold problem include removing the mold and repairing the building, replacing the apartment building or adding rooms to a proposed new dormitory.
Money would come from either a reserve fund for community colleges or the state Legislature. Many public buildings generally fail to admit mold problems and it is rare when they do. MH applauds this effort and will watch for updates on this story as they prevail.