Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for January 17, 2014

Mould remediation specialist to explore problems

Black mould has been found inside one wall at Yukon College’s local campus, but a general air quality examination of the building says it can still be used.

By Chuck Tobin on January 17, 2014 at 3:32 pm

photo

Photo by Vince Fedoroff

DRIPPETY-DRIP-DRIP – Water collection buckets are set up in leaking areas of Yukon College (top). UNWANTED MOISTURE – This room in the trades wing of the Yukon College has suffered water damage.

Black mould has been found inside one wall at Yukon College’s local campus, but a general air quality examination of the building says it can still be used.

Yukon government spokeswoman Kendra Black said today recent problems with water leaking into the 25 1/2-year-old building late last week prompted the government’s property management branch to organize a variety of tests.

The drywall in one of the staff lounges was cut open. Samples were taken and sent south for testing, she explained.

Black said the results returned Wednesday indicated the presence of black mould on the interior wall for the lounge.

The room has been closed off.

Black said Occupational Health and Safety has completed air quality testing and has found common mould but nothing that would prevent general use of the college at this point.

The government, however, will be hiring a mould remediation specialist to work with property management and college staff to develop a plan of action, she said.

Black said the plan will include how to go about determining the extent of the problem, and then how to fix it.

At this time, the spokeswoman acknowledged, there is no way to quantify how big or small the issue is.

The college has experienced leaking through the roof in past years.

This year, though, the issue seems to have been worsened by the heavy snowfall and the fluctuating temperatures, she said.

Black said property management did award a $17,000 contract this week to have the snow and ice cleared from the roof.

College spokesman Michael Vernon said this morning in addition to the lounge area where the black mould was found, staff have been relocated from two other offices in the same area because of water leaks.

A classroom in the trades wing has also been closed, and the students’ union office has experienced leaking, he said.

Vernon said the college is currently examining the buildings which house the student residences and the Yukon Research Centre to determine if they have any problems related to leaking.

“This morning, we are letting the staff and students know we have had these test results back and what we are doing over the next couple of weeks to deal with it,” he said.

The ceiling tiles over the main entry have also been removed and three garbage cans have been placed on the floor to capture drips.

An area in the trades wing required vacuuming to remove water from the floor.

Yukon College opened its Ayamdigut Campus at the new location above the Whitehorse Correctional Centre in October 1988.

Records from the 2012-2013 academic year indicate there were 1,153 students enrolled in Yukon College – 586 full-time, and 567 part-time.

Not many years after the new Thomson Centre opened next to the Whitehorse General Hospital in the early 1990s was it determined there were issues related to water leaking in from the roof.

Eventually, sections of the centre had to be closed for several years, and repairs cost several million dollars.

By that time, the original Alberta-based contractor had gone out of business.

By Chuck Tobin
Star Reporter

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