Local News

UNC Board Of Governors To Take Legal Action Over Mold Problems

Posted December 19, 2003

— The University of North Carolina Board of Governors has authorized legal action concerning toxic mold at North Carolina Central University.

In August, toxic black mold was found in two on-campus dormitories. NCCU was forced to close the dorms and put hundreds of students up in area hotels. Both dorms are around 4 years old.

State Rep. Mickey Michaux, who was instrumental in getting Gov. Mike Easley to provide enough funding to fix the problem, said it is time the state holds someone accountable for the mold.

"The most crucial thing is getting it fixed," he said. "I think they need to take the step."

The Board of Governors will only say it is taking legal action against third parties involved in the design and construction. The dorms were designed by former U.S. Senate candidate Harvey Gantt's firm, Gantt Huberman Architects.

Gantt did not return calls to WRAL, but in the past, he has denied any responsibility for the problem.

State contractors started working on fixing the dorms two weeks ago. Right now, they are concentrating on ripping out all the bathrooms. The project is expected to be completed next Fall and is expected to cost taxpayers more than $25 million.

The attorney general's office hired a forensic consultant to study the mold to determine liability, but officials will not release the findings because of the pending lawsuit.

Michaux said he hopes the state learns a lesson.

"We have got to take a look at our building codes to make sure this doesn't recur," he said.

Officials said it is costing North Carolina Central University more than $1 million to house students in local hotels.

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