An independent inspection conducted Sept. 25 by Pardee Environmental found significant evidence of mold growth in Tank Hall, Keep Cottage, and Harkness House—all of which are leased by the College to the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association.
The inspection report includes photographs taken during the inspection showing mold growth and water damage. The screening was based entirely on John Pardee’s visual analysis and expertise from personal experience with mold displays – no samples were collected for analysis.
“Based on the inspections, it is clear that mold growth was allowed to take hold in all three of the buildings I inspected, to varying degrees of severity,” Pardee wrote in the report. “It is the duty of the College’s facilities office to respond with appropriate urgency to the students’ repeated requests for a professional investigative response and remediation.”
The report included recommendations to maintain indoor humidity levels at 50 percent or less and to clean the HVAC systems in Keep Cottage and Harkness House.
On October 10, all OSCA leadership sent the Pardee Report and a letter detailing a total of 49 alleged violations by the College of their lease with OSCA. The alleged violations include failure to comply with Ohio Department of Health code and landlord obligations according to Ohio Revised Code. An attached list further detailed the specific issues, such as missing window screens, a hole in the back door of Keep Cottage, and storage of College supplies in the basement of Tank Hall.
“This letter will serve as your official notice of these violations and your obligation to correct these violations immediately,” the letter reads. “You now have 30 days to correct these issues before we are forced to take action.”
According to Chief Facilities Officer Kevin Brown, Facilities Operations aims to address issues as they arise.
“The health and safety of Oberlin students is my top priority,” Brown wrote in an email to the Review. “I know OSCA feels the same way. My team and I reviewed the OSCA-initiated inspection, conducted our own investigation and formulated a remediation plan that we shared with OSCA.”
Nicole Chase, OSCA president, declined the Review’s request for comment.