EDMOND, Okla. — Close to 300 students arriving on the University of Central Oklahoma’s campus last week were in for a surprise as they were directed to other housing.
Murdaugh Hall, renovated in 2017 had been closed for mold removal and remediation.
“Mold was found in the closets of some of the rooms,” said Adrienne Nobles, assistant vice president for UCO University Communications.
Nobles said there was a blockage in the plumbing form the 2017 renovation that slowly turned into a leak in the walls.
“This was found after the mold was discovered, and has since been fixed,” Nobles said.
“We are working with a contractor to remove the mold, scrub the air, and do air quality tests. We want a clear air test in each room before reopening,” Nobles said.
The cost for the repair is still undetermined with early estimates landing between $50k and $100k, Nobles said.
“The budget for these repairs will come from the Housing Maintenance budget,” Nobles said. “Housing at UCO is a self-funded operation, so funds will not come from tuition revenue or student activity fees.”
Nobles added that right now the focus is on addressing the current issues and getting Murdaugh reopened.
“We are making positive progress. Again, we do not want to reopen until we get a clear air quality test in each room. Current timelines have the building reopening the week of Aug. 19-23,” Nobles said.
All of the students who were affected have currently been assigned rooms in other residence halls.
“Once we can reopen Murdaugh, they can choose to stay where they are or they can move over to Murdaugh with assistance from the UCO Housing Office,” Nobles said.
Until the dorm was renovated in 2017, it housed women only. Now Murdaugh is a co-ed dorm.
It is co-ed by tower, and bathrooms are gender-locked and require a corresponding key to open, Nobles added.