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Foster and McNutt Quads to close for renovations next year



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Mold has been labeled on the walls and windows of freshman Daniel Wang's room Nov. 29 in McNutt Quad. Wang labeled the mold himself so it was easier for inspectors to find.  Ty Vinson Buy Photos

Foster and McNutt quads will be closed for renovations during the 2019-2020 academic year to thoroughly address ongoing mold problems. 

The accelerated plan, set to begin in May 2019, was approved Friday at the IU Board of Trustees meeting. 

Originally, renovations to these residence halls were scheduled to start in 2021 and 2023. The accelerated plan comes after a semester of mold problems in Foster and McNutt that have caused hundreds of students to move.

“Accelerating the planned renovations of Foster and McNutt enables IU to address underlying HVAC deficiencies of older systems while also comprehensively renovating these facilities," said Tom Morrison, vice president for Capital Planning and Facilities.

Putting central air conditioning-systems into Foster and McNutt for the first time will be one of the biggest ways the renovations will prevent mold from coming back, IU Spokesman Chuck Carney said. A central air conditioning-system circulates air throughout the whole building instead of in each individual room. This will include renovating piping and air ducts.

Renovations will also include new room designs and common spaces. The quads will have a modern look similar to more recently renovated residence halls like Forest and Wells Quadsand Read Center. 

Although Forest, McNutt and half of Teter Quad will not be open next school year, Carney said incoming freshman won’t have to worry about where they are living.

“All the freshman will be housed on campus,” Carney said. “We can guarantee that.”

Carney said the University is considering contracting out other housing developments to house returning students.

An IU press release said students who are currently living in Foster and McNutt and are having no allergic reactions or have no chronic health conditions may safely remain in their residence hall until end of the academic year. Students in rooms that have unacceptable levels of mold in their air sample tests have already been contacted.

The accelerated renovations on Foster and McNutt are a part of a $300 million plan to renovate residence halls over the next six years. The plan includes the completion of Teter renovations and the opening of the new North Hall, near McNutt, by the 2020-2021 school year. 

Renovations of other, older residence halls such as Wright Quad and Collins Living-Learning Center are also included in the six-year plan.

More information about the housing selection process for the 2019-2020 academic year will be available early in 2019. It is currently under development according to the press release.

IU Provost Lauren Robel said in the press release that the University is committed to providing first-year students the opportunity to live on campus.

"The residential campus experience enhances student success, and supports close and diverse friendships and lifelong connections to the institution and the state," Robel said. 

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