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Mold Found In ‘U Of M’ Building, Experiments Disrupted

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(credit: CBS) Rachel Slavik
Rachel Slavik joined the WCCO team in October of 2010 and is thrill...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — An unwanted discovery on the University of Minnesota campus is forcing some students to make a big change mid-semester. Mold was found in the civil engineering building on the Minneapolis campus.

On the sixth floor of the civil engineering building at the University, Greg Lefebre is one of dozens of civil engineering students with experiments underway. At the end of the month, however, they’ll have to stop everything.

“We don’t have a choice as to whether we are going to stay in this building or not,” said Lefebre.

The labs will move to the St. Paul campus.

“We’ve been able to try to minimize the disruption as much as possible by planning with our experiments,” said Lefebre.

Mold has leaked into the building through the sixth floor roof. The civil engineering building is unique in that it’s built into the ground like a mine.

“I’m sure it has something to do with the fact that it’s, you know, seven floors down. They have to worry about water damage,” said Gina Beers, a civil engineering student.

Crews have been able to clean up the mold but, so far, haven’t fixed the source of the problem.

“Before, for example, you could see actual mold building up on some portions of the dry wall,” said Lefebre.

Air quality tests show the mold in the air is not a health hazard.

“I don’t think there was any health issues ever associated with it,” said Lefebre.

The biggest concern is the environmental research experiments that cover everything from water to dirt.

“It’s all been just making sure the research isn’t affected negatively,” said Beers.

Studies are underway to look into the cost of fixing the problem. So, for now, students are looking at the upside of a lab above ground.

“I think, overall, the campus there, I like better than being in the basement,” said Lefebre.

The move to the St. Paul campus is indefinite and only affects the sixth and part of the seventh levels of the civil engineering building.

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