Campus News News

International Hall elevator traps five students, questions still loom about mold issue

By Cait Kemp

International Hall, nicknamed by the Springfield College community as “Inty”, has been the talk of the town this semester with issue after issue popping up in regards to its conditions.

Despite being the most recently constructed-on dorm building on campus, it seems to be in the worst state. From the mold concerns back in October, to now an incident with the elevator, it is easy to understand the concerns that students may have for their own well-being as residents of the hall.

Last Tuesday, five residents of Inty were in the elevator when it suddenly got stuck and stopped moving. They were stuck in the elevator for almost an hour waiting for the fire department to arrive to get them out.

“I felt pretty calm most of the time except for when we got the elevator door opened and realized we were in between floors. That’s when I started to feel pretty uneasy,” said Logan Kinsman, one of the students that was stuck in the elevator.

Another student, Lauren Lemay, recognized the help they received from Public Safety in the scary situation that she and her friends experienced.

“A woman from Public Safety was extremely calming and friendly and was talking to us through the door for a while,” said Lemay. “Once Public Safety tried to turn off the elevator and that didn’t work, they had to call the firefighters. That’s when the panic started.”

Despite the calming help from Public Safety workers and their attempts at making the girls feel better, this was a situation that was hard to not be worried about. Being stuck in a small space feels like something out of a horror film, and can trigger people’s fears and panic.

“Being stuck with four other girls was very scary, but we did our best to remain calm for as long as possible. Being stuck for around 45 minutes can make people really anxious and afraid, I feel like we did the best we could,” said Lemay.

Otis Worldwide Corporation, a transport company that develops, manufactures and repairs elevators, escalators, and other indoor movement equipment, came to fix the Inty elevator last week to ensure that it was safe for student use again.

“Otis Elevator repaired the car last week; it was tested thoroughly and put back in service,” said Kevin Roy, director of Facilities Management. “They replaced some rubber car guides on the elevator. We don’t anticipate any issues.”

Concerns of the safety of Inty have begun to stir after this incident, which has brought back up the issues with mold and mildew growing around the dorm. Back in October, parents took to social media to share photos from their children in Inty of what appeared to be black mold growing in various areas of the bedrooms and bathrooms. There was a growing concern for the air quality that students were being exposed to, and confusion when facilities seemed to not be looking at the building as a whole and only dealing with each individual work order, when it was a dorm-wide situation.

After reporting to the locations of the few complaints from students and dealing with the individual situations, Facilities decided to do some deeper cleaning in those problem areas, and ran air quality testing that results have still yet to be collected.

“There are no new updates with the air quality tests in International. We will be doing some cleaning over winter break. Residence Life will be sending some more information on that schedule soon,” Roy said.

It is reassuring to know that Facilities and the College administration are aware of the issues in the building, but students are still concerned of what might come their way next. Inty might be the newest dorm, but with the list of problems that seems to continue to grow, it does not appear to be the best or safest on campus. However with the work that is being done, and the attention the problem is receiving, students can hope to see improvement after winter break going into the spring semester.

Photo Courtesy Irene Rotondo

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