Mold forces 100 KCK Community College students out of housing

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Mold has forced more than 100 college students out of their apartments. But the clean up could be a sticky situation.

Those students live in Kansas City Kansas Community College student housing. But the school doesn’t own the buildings. They are part of of a nearby apartment complex, Royal Ridge.

“We were sleeping in there and all of us were starting to get sick and the other teams were starting to get sick and we kind of looked around our vents and saw there was mold in our vents and in the ceilings in our bathrooms,” Faith Putz, a KCKCC basketball player who hails from Iowa, said.

“In our opinion Royal Ridge management just didn’t act quick enough in the best interest of our students so we brought in our own environmental services contractor to take a look explore the complaint that the student had made,” said Tami Bartunek, KCKCC VP for strategic initiative and outreach.

KCKCC said it found mold in multiple units in all three buildings it leases from the apartment complex.

A parent provided FOX4 an email sent out to affected students at 1:20 a.m. Wednesday explaining students whose parents live close to campus would have to turn in their keys and return home for the remainder of the semester.

“Again we are so sorry that we could not get Royal Ridge to make the necessary repairs but hope that we might be able to accommodate you in our new state-of-the-art housing complex that will open in the summer of 2022,” Shawn Derritt, Dean of Student Services wrote.

“We are trying to act quickly and promptly in this situation. So that’s true our Dean of Students has been sending emails at midnight, 1 a.m., 2 a.m. as soon as we get info back we’re trying to get that information communicated out. In some cases students are asked that same day to please vacate and we say let us help you if you need help,” Bartunek explained.

The school said the problem is, as crews are getting into the apartments they are finding many are worse than they thought. But since it doesn’t own the buildings KCKCC has to work with apartment management for heavy duty remediation.

Right now students, many of them athletes who came from out of state, are being put up in hotels by the Legends about 15 minutes away.

“I don’t really like staying in a hotel but as long as they are trying to get the stuff cleared out and make the environment more healthy I’m fine with that,” Halle Davis said.

The community college is providing transportation and money for meals and laundry.

KCKCC hopes to have some students back in student housing by this weekend. But as that letter indicates for some of the apartments this could take all semester. Right now the school has only booked hotels for a few weeks.

Royal Ridge Apartment managers did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the situation.

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