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On Tuesday, January 30, the College announced that, as a precautionary measure, all Glenview residents will be relocated to other campus residence halls for the remainder of the semester. This decision follows recent test results revealing the presence of commonly occurring molds within the buildings’ walls and ventilation units. No toxigenic molds, such as Stachybotrys chartarum (i.e., "black mold"), were found.

Information about the mold abatement efforts in Glenview, how Hamilton prevents and remediates mold, and the student relocation process can be found below.

Last Updated: February 22, 2024

FAQ Contents

About Mold

Molds are naturally occurring biological organisms found throughout all indoor and outdoor environments.

Most individuals exposed to the molds found in the wall cavity and ventilation unit samples at Glenview will not experience adverse health effects. Molds are naturally occurring biological organisms, and people are exposed to the mold types found in Glenview every day in both indoor and outdoor environments. However, some people – such as those with allergies, asthma, immune suppression conditions, or underlying respiratory diseases – may be more sensitive to mold than others.

There are no state or federal guidelines for the acceptable number of mold spores present in indoor air or surfaces. Because of this, the EPA and the CDC don’t recommend testing for mold in most cases – especially in the air.

Mold Prevention & Remediation at Hamilton

Hamilton College follows guidance from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on how best to treat and prevent mold. The College’s approach includes proactive mold prevention practices, as well as recommended mold response, mitigation, and remediation measures. In 2016 and 2022, Facilities Management staff received training on mold awareness and on practices and procedures to prevent and remediate mold.

Molds can appear periodically because they are found everywhere, indoors and outdoors. Any time the College receives a report of suspected mold in a College facility, the offices of Facilities Management and Environmental Protection, Safety and Sustainability assess the situation and determine the appropriate response. In most instances, standard mitigation and remediation measures are successful.

At this time, there is no indication that testing is needed in other residence halls.

Testing is not generally conducted unless mold amplification is suspected or identified and additional data on the mold types and levels are needed as part of investigations or remedial actions. The College follows guidance from the EPA and the CDC and, because of the absence of federal safety standards, these agencies don’t recommend testing for mold in most cases.

Learn more from the EPA.

Students who have concerns about their living space should contact their Community Advisor who can help submit a work order to Facilities Management.

Faculty and staff can submit a work order to Facilities Management.

Glenview Mold Abatement Efforts & Testing

All residences at Hamilton, including Glenview, are inspected on an annual basis. This includes a thorough visual inspection of each living space.

As with most residence halls, occasional reports of suspected mold have been submitted throughout Glenview’s existence. Each time, College personnel assessed the situation, identified what they believed to be the likely cause(s), and then employed standard remediation practices, such as controlling humidity and temperature, utilizing enhanced cleaning and disinfection tactics, fixing leaks or standing water issues, and ensuring proper ventilation.

Upgrades were made to Glenview that improved ventilation in the bathrooms, and dehumidifiers were recently provided for each room to better control humidity. Facilities Management also cleaned the HVAC units in each room.

Unfortunately, reports of suspected mold have persisted. Having exhausted all standard efforts to mitigate mold growth, Hamilton contacted Colden Corporation, an outside consulting firm with expertise in biological health and safety investigations.

To verify the presence of mold and help determine the source, a NYSDOL-licensed mold assessor from Colden Corporation collected surface and air samples from a wall cavity and ventilation unit at Glenview on Friday, January 19. The samples were analyzed by SGS Galson, an analytical laboratory accredited by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) Environmental Microbiology Laboratory Accreditation Program (EMLAP).

Colden and the College received the initial results on Friday, January 26.

Yes, additional tests were conducted on Tuesday, January 30, by a NYSDOL-licensed mold assessor and certified industrial hygienist from Colden Corporation who collected air samples from Glenview living spaces. The assessor tested five (5) unoccupied living spaces, three (3) occupied living spaces, and two (2) lounges.

Jan. 19 testing indicated that amplification of common molds is occurring in the sampled wall cavity and ventilation unit.

Jan. 30 testing indicated that environmental molds are generally elevated in the rooms and lounges.

Since there are no state or federal guidelines for the acceptable number of mold spores present in indoor air or surfaces, the industry standard is to compare samples collected from the interior of a building to the outside control sample.

Jan. 19 tests found the three most common types of mold: Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Aspergillus.

Jan. 30 testing found the same three types of mold noted in the January 19 testing, along with Ascospores and a group of fungi called Basidiospores. These are all common environmental fungi.

No toxigenic molds, such as Stachybotrys chartarum (i.e., “black mold”), were found in the Glenview surface or air samples collected on Jan. 19 or Jan. 30.

The initial tests confirmed the types of mold present and the source, but the tests did not quantify the levels of mold in the living space. Colden Corporation returned to Glenview on Tuesday, January 30, to conduct additional air testing in a representative set of student rooms and both lounges. This air testing determined the levels of mold in the areas sampled were elevated above outdoor concentrations.

Yes. The final written report from tests conducted on January 19 and January 30 was emailed to former residents and their families on Feb. 22. That report can also be found here.

While Glenview has not previously been tested for mold, Hamilton did contact Colden Corporation during the fall 2022 semester to investigate a report of mold.

Visual review by a Colden NYSDOL-licensed mold assessor led to recommendations for corrective actions to increase airflow in student rooms, and improve bathroom drainage and ventilation. Facilities Management implemented all of the recommendations.

Based on the visual review, the assessor did not recommend further measurements, sampling, or other investigation at that time since the standard interventions were deemed appropriate and proportional to the observed conditions.

Glenview is the only modular residence at Hamilton. It is comprised of two one-story modular buildings and was erected on campus in August 2020.

The College is working with engineers, architects, and indoor air quality specialists to determine next steps.

Glenview Students & Relocation Process

As of January 30, 52 students live in Glenview.

Our students’ health and safety are and will remain Hamilton’s top priorities, and while experts have assured us the situation is low risk, we are relocating students out of an abundance of caution and because remediation is not practical while students remain in the buildings since the source of the mold is inside wall cavities.

Our Community Living staff has devised a relocation plan that aims to preserve the communities created to the greatest extent possible. All roommates will continue living together with their Community Advisors (CA) living nearby. If residents and CAs are assigned to two different buildings, a new CA will be assigned.

The relocation process is slated to begin on Friday, Feb. 2. Our goal is to have all students and their belongings moved out of Glenview by Saturday, Feb. 3.

Early moves can be accommodated as needed, and we will be as flexible as possible for students who cannot move within this timeframe. Please contact Ashley Place at aplace@hamilton.edu as soon as possible.

Facilities Management will provide moving materials and assist with transporting belongings. Boxes, tape, and bubble wrap will be delivered to the common room of each Glenview building and students will receive a bag of supplies from Community Living to assist with the process.

If a student needs something that isn’t provided, please email Ashley Place at aplace@hamilton.edu.

Yes. Each student being relocated will have $100 added to their Hill Card to assist with any additional laundry costs.

If you have personal items that cannot be laundered but may be affected by mold, such as a carpet or comforter, please let the Community Living staff know by contacting Ashley Place at aplace@hamilton.edu so we can provide assistance.

Because this unique situation necessitates a relocation, students will be given preference within their class year in the housing selection process for the 2024-2025 academic year.

Affected students received emails about what priority selection means. Please contact Tanith Sherman (tsherman@hamilton.edu; 315-859-4290) if you have questions about the housing selection process. 

Yes. This is why it is important to both launder porous materials like clothing and bedding, and use wipes to clean off non-porous materials (like books, picture frames, etc.). Both strategies will help remove the spores.

Yes, every residence hall on campus has laundry facilities. If students find it difficult to immediately launder their items, please contact Ashley Place at aplace@hamilton.edu.

Yes. Laundering clothing and bedding with standard laundry soap and hot water will help remove mold spores.

Please contact either the Health Center or a personal health care team with any health concerns. 

Contact

Contact Name

Ashley Place

Assistant Dean of Students for Community Living

Office Location
Elihu Root House, 2nd Floor
Hours
M
8:30 - 4:30
Tu
8:30 - 4:30
W
8:30 - 4:30
Th
8:30 - 4:30
Fr
8:30 - 4:30
Sa
Closed
Su
Closed

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