DURHAM, N.C. — A multimillion-dollar mess found in two North Carolina Central University dormitories is close to being cleaned up.
Molly Broad, president of the University of North Carolina system, led the way Thursday as dozens of board members crammed into one of two N.C. Central dormitories that were once infested with toxic black mold.
"It was a serious problem healthwise and had to be fixed on an emergency basis," board member Peter Keber said.
Crews said the black mold started in the dorms' bathrooms and forced the dorms to close. When new construction starts in February, crews will install waterproof liners to prevent any water leaks in the future.
Board members grilled construction workers Thursday about the process and the length of the time it has taken. If all goes as planned, officials said the work will be completed ahead of schedule and under budget.
"The estimated cost of the two dormitories will be in the neighborhood of $6 million," said James Ammons, chancellor of North Carolina Central University.
Gov. Mike Easley authorized the use of reserve funds, so the state is picking up the tab. Students could move back into the dorms next August.
In August 2003, the Board of Governors authorized legal action regarding the mold found in the two dorms. The state attorney general's office is now waiting on a report to see if any of the firms involved in the construction or design of the buildings are liable.