Asbestos found in Residence Halls under renovation

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Asbestos found in Residence Halls under renovation

Brooke Reilly

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Written by Brooke Reilly 

Background research by Kassidy Berger 

A dangerous substance was recently found in several residence halls undergoing renovations this summer.

Asbestos has been discovered in the Troup, Larson and Perlroth Residence Halls, which were all supposed to house students beginning in late August. They will no longer be available for use during the 2019-2020 academic year. Monique Drucker, vice president and dean of students, emailed the students affected informing them of the situation yesterday.

“I write to advise you that the Larson, Perlroth and Troup Residence Halls (the Suites) will not be available for occupancy during the 2019-2020 academic year, as previously planned,” Drucker wrote. “Students who were scheduled to reside in the Suites will now be assigned to alternative on-campus residence hall.”

Each student was given a new housing assignment that was made available through MyHousing. Many suites were split up without being made aware of other options prior to this.

“We had to pick up two people that we didn’t know to live with us,” a rising sophomore, who originally planned to live in Larson, Gianna Petruccelli, said. “What happened was the two girls that we wanted to be with us got split up, and now we’re stuck with two randoms. They didn’t give us an option. They just did it for us, and they ended up really screwing us because they took two of our friends.”

For some students, relocation meant moving to Quinnipiac’s upperclassmen campus, York Hill.

“At first I was stressed because I was worried about what was going to happen and where we’re going to live and everything,” a rising sophomore, Shannon Donoghue, said. “Once I found out I was moved to York instead of Perl[roth], I was just kind of mad, especially because my group got split up.”

The students were told that if the suite they are relocated to has a kitchen, they will not be charged with any additional fees. In addition, a total of $1,000 ($400 for the Fall 2020 semester and $600 for the Spring 2021 semester) will be credited toward their housing bills if they choose to live on campus at that time. Students who are placed in Crescent on York Hill will be given an upgraded parking pass allowing them to park in the Hilltop parking lot on the Mount Carmel campus daily from 6 a.m. until midnight.

“I’m glad they’re doing the whole crediting thing toward the housing,” Donoghue said. “I guess it’s better than just finding out there’s asbestos once we’re already living there, and then we have to move everything.”

The asbestos was discovered as these renovations were being done. Part of the renovations included adding air conditioning, making these dorms more attractive to students. With the loss of the original housing plan and friend groups, Petruccelli still wants air conditioning.

“I think we should be able to bring our own air conditioner because we were promised air conditioning, and now we don’t have that,” Petruccelli said.

According to the Connecticut Department of Health, “‘Asbestos’ is a commonly used word that describes groups of naturally occurring fibrous minerals known to cause cancer.”

“They should have known when they were doing [the renovations], there’s gonna be something that goes wrong,” Petruccelli said. “I could have called this before they even did anything that there was gonna be asbestos in those walls. I was just so confused and furious as to why they just found that out now.”

Drucker provided an update on how the university is handling the issue in her email as well.

“The University’s Connecticut-licensed asbestos consultant determined that certain building materials that will be disturbed contain asbestos. Intact and undisturbed asbestos-containing materials, such as those identified at the Suites, do not present a risk and are not required to be removed unless disturbed,” Drucker wrote. “Although not required, consistent with the University’s commitment to student safety, all asbestos-containing materials identified in the Suites buildings will be removed – not just the materials that must be removed when disturbed during the renovation.”

The consultants and contractors will be testing to confirm that all asbestos-containing materials are removed this summer so work can be continued on these residence halls. According to Drucker, they expect to be able to reopen Troup, Larson and Perlroth for the 2020-2021 school year.

Many parents expressed their concerns on the Quinnipiac Parents Facebook page as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“On behalf of the University, we regret the inconvenience that this delay in renovating the Suites causes our affected students,” Drucker wrote. “The renovation of the Suites is important to enhancing the student living experience at our residence halls, as conveyed by President Olian this Spring. We expect that you will agree that, once renovated and equipped with air conditioning, the Suites will be back and better than ever.”


This story will be updated as new information is released.