Four classrooms at SBCC shut down due to blooming mold

BROOKE SNOW, Channels Staff

Multiple courses were displaced due to the discovery of mold blooming in four East Campus Classrooms at City College just days before the spring semester began.

Dean Kenley Neufeld said the problem probably started a while ago, but it was discovered the Thursday before the spring semester began.

According to Neufeld, these classrooms were originally supposed to be temporary, but stayed in use much longer than anticipated.

The mold was caused by leaks in the ceiling and it will cost the school approximately $50,000 in repairs for each classroom.  The classrooms will not be renovated, but they will instead be removed in the foreseeable future due to new classrooms that will be ready within the next year.

The classes that were most affected by the incident were American sign language, English, journalism, math, and social science.

All of the courses have been relocated and accommodated for but it has caused a bit of confusion for some staff and students.

Sarah Nichols, a City College student whose American sign language class was relocated, said that her and fellow classmates were “confused why [they] were in a computer lab.” Those circumstances made it hard to see other student’s hands, which is essential in an American sign language class.

Their class has since been relocated for a second time to a room in the Humanities Building and will likely stay there for the remainder of the semester.

According to Neufeld, moving around all of the classes and making sure they had a place to go on campus was confusing.

“Between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., every single one of our classrooms are occupied,” said Neufeld. “We are at 100 percent occupancy. If this had happened any other semester, we would have been in a lot of hurt.”

Some classes have yet to be moved to their permanent locations, including math and journalism, which will allegedly be moved to where the temporary bookstore is located once the renovations of the bookstore are completed.

Neufeld continued on by expressing how lucky the school was for this problem arising while student enrollment had decreased significantly. He then referred to the coincidence as a “blessing in disguise.”

To prevent an issue like this happening again at Santa Barbara City College, the plan is to ensure better infrastructure and be more aware of maintenance that needs to be done to avert the blooming of mold explained Neufeld.

The classrooms for the courses that were affected will allegedly be ready by next spring, and will all have permanent locations ensuring the dissipation of confusion and mold.