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Towers Hall Update

What’s happening?

On February 3, a shower drain in one of our rooms in Towers Hall backed up, resulting in water leakage to that room and the room directly below. Cleanup and Total Restoration’s (CTR) plan is to remove the drywall affected by water and potential microbial growth. 

How many rooms will be affected by the construction repair project that will be occurring?

Two rooms

I am a neighbor of a room that is being repaired, is there any information I need to be aware of?

Cleanup and Total Restoration will be taking precautionary measures to completely seal off access to the 2 rooms affected and will be stationing ventilation systems within the rooms being repaired to contain the air and transmit the air outside the building. Abatement will be conducted by a qualified asbestos abatement contractor.  Abatement will be conducted in compliance with all EPA Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) rules and regulations.  Air monitoring will be conducted before, during, and after the abatement per the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants  (NESHAP).

Will I be notified if I need to relocate my room during the repair project?

The two rooms that are impacted by this repair project have been notified and have already been relocated. We do not anticipate any additional room relocations, however, if needed, we will contact the residents directly with information and support.

What support can Housing & Residence Life provide me if I am asked to temporarily relocate to a different room location during the repair project?

Movers will be hired to assist the students in moving, and staff within Housing and Residence Life will be working directly with the residents impacted to provide support.

What will the repair project consist of and how long will the room repairs take?

CTR will be removing all plumbing fixtures and cutting out sections of drywall that were damaged by the water leak. New drywall will be installed, then painted, and plumbing fixtures will be replaced. We expect the entire process to be completed by March 7 and will communicate any delays immediately. 

What steps have been taken to test potential microbial growth within the residence halls?

When potential microbial growth is identified on campus, our team hires Atlas Environmental Solutions to conduct an investigation, which includes an air spore sample test as well thermal imaging to try to identify the type of growth present and where it may be located. In the past four months, we have tested five locations in our residential communities. Results indicated the presence of common microbial species, such as aspergillus and penicillium, which are prevalent in nature.  We did find the presence of one less common microbial species in one room, which we are addressing immediately. Microbial growth can easily be avoided by making sure the bathroom fan is turned on along with regular cleaning with common cleaning products, and removed with a hydrogen peroxide cleaning solution. 

Should I be worried about exposure to Asbestos?

Some older buildings on campus have asbestos and there is not a health risk unless disturbing the asbestos without proper mitigation. In 1991, several areas of Towers were “abated” (asbestos was removed).

What areas of Towers Hall were abated in 1991?

Abated areas include:

Floors 2-7
  • Textured ceiling material
  • Fireproofing material in storage rooms
  • Carpeting
First floor and center stair ceiling:
  • Fireproofing on 30-36′ deep girders
  • Fireproofing on recessed beams
  • Plaster fittings first floor south tower