As we complete this academic year, the Departments of Resident Life and Residential Facilities are looking to the year ahead, and to welcoming new and returning Terps to campus in the fall.
We want to update you on our efforts to address moisture issues in our residence halls and share the most up-to-date information about our past and upcoming work. As some of you may be aware, when our area experienced record-breaking heat, rain, and humidity during the fall of 2018, we saw a significant increase in reports of mold in our residence halls.
In response, the Department of Residential Facilities worked to address the problem, including hiring independent contractors to assist in the remediation efforts; relocating some residents to local hotels while remediation was underway; launching an external review of our remediation processes and measures; and developing a multi-faceted approach to ensure moisture control and dehumidification in our residence halls moving forward.
Our comprehensive plan to address high humidity that may occur in the future is tailored to each affected residence hall. This summer, the plan includes facility renovation projects, such as roof replacements, additional dehumidification, and foundation waterproofing.
As we continue our efforts to address moisture issues and prepare for our students’ return for the fall semester, significant work will be completed this summer. The highlights of the moisture control plan are:
Following the recommendation from consultants, a portion of the work will entail the installation of portable dehumidifiers in many student rooms. The dehumidifiers will be connected to existing fan coil units and will automatically pump excess moisture from the space into existing drains. This work will take place in 16 halls, and will be ongoing.
Staff will proactively look for mold when cleaning and work to address it as soon as it is noticed. An enhanced standard operating procedure for identifying and inspecting mold will include safety awareness, technical training and an expanded team of specialists. Processes will be modified to more efficiently track inspections and high priority cases.
Students will be educated on the new equipment installed in their rooms and notified about behavior to be avoided that is more likely to cause mold.
Additional information about this issue and the university’s moisture control plan subsequent actions can be found at http://reslife.umd.edu/moldconcerns. We will continue to update this website with information as work progresses.
The safety, health, and well-being of each and every resident is a matter of utmost concern for the Departments of Resident Life and Residential Facilities at UMD. We will continue to work diligently to ensure our residents have the best possible experience while living on campus.
If you have additional questions or concerns, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.