Environmental firm recommends testing McCreless Hall ventilation system.
By Richard Montemayor
District findings on the air quality tests in McCreless Hall came back negative for mold.
On Nov. 18, Roy Brown, district environmental health and safety coordinator, announced the results of the air quality tests that were conducted Oct. 6 in McCreless.
Brown did not want to discuss the concerns that faculty and staff have about Gonzales Hall because air-quality checks have been done recently to that building, he said.
“Within the next week or so, I will try and schedule something to get something done in Gonzales Hall,” Brown said, noting the last time they did anything in that building was in 2012.
The concerns about McCreless were from faculty and staff being exposed to mold, he said. Two employees’ offices were relocated after complaints.
“We didn’t find any mold growth growing in that building,” Brown said.
To check for mold, samples from the inside and outside of the building are needed to compare the results, he said.
“The results that we got back from the sample that we took was less than or equal to the sample on the outside, so that means that we didn’t have any mold that was growing,” Brown said.
Brown said the federal Environmental Protection Agency guidelines on black dust found in McCreless stated the following:
“The presence of dust on duct work does not necessarily indicate a current microbiology problem. A small amount of dust spore on a duct surface is normally to be expected,” Brown said.
Brown said he has been getting complaints about the black dust and reassured everyone that there is a recommendation in the report that talks about the black dust.
Ron Bishop, certified industrial hygienist and owner of AEHS Inc., said he recommends a total test and balance of McCreless to see what’s going on with the ventilation system.
Bishop said 43 percent of the buildings where there is an indoor air quality, you can relate back to a ventilation problem.
“We have found that within your system as well and I’m not just talking about McCreless Hall but across the board,” Bishop said.
Determining the cost of every stained ceiling tile and replacing every ceiling tile that is stained is recommended to prevent mold from growing, he said.
“For mold to grow you need two things: moisture and food. This provides the food source,” Bishop said.
Bishop said he recommends a roof inspection for McCreless to see if the roof needs to be replaced.
“We found 55 areas where there is water intrusion in that building,” Bishop said.
Math Chair Said Fariabi asked if Bishop found any water in any of the stairwells.
“Whenever it is raining, the water is coming down the stairwell,” Fariabi said.
Bishop said he was not out here when it was raining. He came after it rained.
English Professor Kim Hochmeister asked if there is anything faculty and staff can do when it is raining to provide evidence of leaking ceiling tiles.
Brown said to call his office so he can come look at it during that time. Fariabi argued to Brown that it has already been reported.
“When I get it, it’s always after-the-fact, and then I’m trying to play catch-up in order to try and address the issues,” Brown said.