University officials have shared that they plan to demolish Roush Hall, a residence hall that was closed in August following the discovery of mold while students were moving in.
The University is holding off on demolishing the facility until they have exhausted all of the possibilities related to receiving an insurance payment on the building.
“As soon as we get that cleared up the plan is then to ask permission from the Board of Trustees to raze that building and take it down,” Amy Pennington, interim vice president for Student Services and dean of students said.
Pennington said she expected the insurance negotiations to take at least one more month. After the insurance matter is decided, university administration will have to ask the Board of Trustees to approve the demolition.
Mold was discovered within the drawers of the some of the built-in cabinetry in Roush Hall rooms while students were moving into the facility. A university press release credited the mold as being the result of a “historically wet and humid August.” University officials deemed the building unsafe and moved students to space at Lake Point and South Hall.
Pennington said student safety was the university’s “number one concern” when deciding to close down Roush Hall. Even though the mold was only present in a “few” rooms, the facility was closed because the university “didn’t want students living in that environment,” Pennington said.
It wasn’t every room impacted in that facility that was a situation where we had mold growing, but because we saw it in just even in those few, we didn’t want students living in that environment,” Pennington said.
Ultimately, university staff decided that the cost of repairs needed to return Roush to a state where it could be used again would not be worth the expense. In addition to the repairs needed to remove the mold, other repairs and renovations needed to be made to make sure the residence hall, which was opened in 1962, was an attractive option for students going forward, Pennington said.
“It wasn’t necessarily that the building needed to come down immediately, but when this happened and we started looking at how to renovate that, it was just like an onion and the layers started peeling and we’re like, we need new facilities on campus,” Pennington said.
The capacity of Roush Hall was 108 beds. To make up for the loss in space brought on by the closure, Pennington said Residence Life will contract for more space at Vista Place Apartments and add a third bed to some of the rooms in Nutt Hall, M Street Hall and South Hall.