District checks McMcreless Hall air quality

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Two removed from offices following health complaints.

By Richard Montemayor

rmontemayor15@student.alamo.edu

Black mold appeared in Room 118 of McCreless Hall on Oct. 2 2015 in math professor Hoan Duong’s office. Photo by Richard Montemayor

Black mold appeared in Room 118 of McCreless Hall on Oct. 2 2015 in math professor Hoan Duong’s office. Photo by Richard Montemayor

In September, one faculty member and one staff member reported feeling sick from being in their offices in McCreless Hall.

Roy Brown, district and risk manager, tested the air quality and mold levels Oct. 12-16.

Brown said he is working on the root cause of the problem in McCreless.

Math Professor Hoan Duong said he was relocated from his office in Room 118 into Room 316 because of air quality and an unidentified black substance.

“I’ve noticed it for a couple years, but I didn’t report it. There’s some, like black mold, or dirt dropping from the air ventilation,” Duong said.

Duong said he would sometimes come in over the weekend and find his desk covered with the substance. It started to smell bad and Duong started to have problems breathing while he was in his office; he finally had enough and contacted Brown, he said.

“He came by so I took him to my office. He said yes, that the air smelled bad and that he was going to have an air sample collected and give me a personal report,” Duong said. David Mrizek, vice president of college services, said the report will arrive this week.

Duong is not the only one feeling ill from being in his office. Computer support technician Frank Marcie has reported the same issue with his office.

“I emailed Roy Brown to see if he could come out and do an air quality sample on my old office,” Marcie said.

Marcie said he doesn’t know if Brown checked his old office in Room 124G, but he believes the root of the problem was the flooding of the basement two years ago.

During Labor Day weekend 2013, the basement of McCreless Hall was flooded in a “freak thunderstorm,” John Strybos, associate vice chancellor of facilities operation and construction management, said.

The building was closed for the summer but reopened for fall classes.

Marcie said he would feel sick when he would go in his office but loves his new office in Room 136A.

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