University of Georgia completes dorm cleanings after health complaints

Crews work to scrape, prime and paint ceilings with mold-inhibiting scrubbable paint at Mell Hall at the University of Georgia. (Courtesy of University of Georgia)

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Crews work to scrape, prime and paint ceilings with mold-inhibiting scrubbable paint at Mell Hall at the University of Georgia. (Courtesy of University of Georgia)

UGA also plans to spend $20 million on renovations to five complexes

The University of Georgia says it has completed deep cleanings and maintenance of its 22 student housing complexes after a groundswell of complaints in recent months from students and parents about mold and other pollutants.

The school said it also hired an outside contractor who conducted 138 air quality tests and reported three results showing above average spore levels at two residence halls on campus.

“University Housing has remediated the mold found from these tests and will continue to conduct additional tests to update readings,” the university said Wednesday. “Results from additional air quality testing are expected later this month and will be analyzed to determine if further action is needed.”

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University of Georgia parent Robin Sheppard said she took pictures like this in her daughter's dorm bathroom she said shows mold. (Photo contributed)

Credit: Contributed

University of Georgia parent Robin Sheppard said she took pictures like this in her daughter's dorm bathroom she said shows mold. (Photo contributed)

Credit: Contributed

Combined ShapeCaption
University of Georgia parent Robin Sheppard said she took pictures like this in her daughter's dorm bathroom she said shows mold. (Photo contributed)

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

The spring semester starts Monday.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported in late November that many students — typically those in older first-year residence halls — were suffering throughout the semester from intense coughing, severe sore throat and congestion. Parents believed the illnesses resulted from dirty air filters that weren’t regularly changed in student rooms or mold.

ExploreCampus housing causing health concerns, Georgia students, parents say

UGA officials told the AJC they received 244 reports of potential mold since the start of the fall semester. In most instances, officials said they did not find mold. When mold was discovered, officials said it was immediately addressed.

The university announced in early December that it would conduct work during winter break that included replacing air filters, removing some older air conditioning units, changing toilet valves in one hall and cleaning fan coil units in two halls.

UGA said it will conduct more periodic inspections for mold, as well as continuing air quality and other testing measures as needed. The university also said it is finalizing a $20 million plan that’s been in the works since last summer to renovate five first-year residence halls built in 1961.

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