Lewis Hall back in operation and free of mold after flooding in July

AP

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COLUMBIA — University Archives and part of the MU School of Health Professions have returned to Lewis Hall after flooding took over the building in early July.

After two mold assessments in July and August, no visible mold growth was reported, said Zach Lawhorn, senior marketing and communications manager at the School of Health Professions.

Two mold assessments were made after the flooding took place on July 8 on the top floor of Lewis Hall from a burst pipe. Nova Consulting Group, Inc. from Kansas City conducted an air quality and mold assessment on all floors of Lewis Hall and some areas in adjoining Clark Hall, Lawhorn said. The MU Environmental Health and Safety department also conducted an assessment on July 10. Reports showed that flooding did not affect the indoor air quality in either building, Lawhorn said.

University Archives reopened to the public July 24 with services available to researchers, said technical services archivist Anselm Huelsbergen. Some of the services may be temporarily affected by moving furniture and relocating equipments and stored records to accommodate the continued renovation in Lewis Hall, he said.

After the flooding, all faculty and staff members of the School of Health Professions were displaced and worked remotely off-site, Lawhorn said. Two weeks later, all faculty and staff were allowed to return to their work spaces on the second floor and higher in Lewis Hall, Lawhorn said.

Lawhorn said the classrooms on the basement level were heavily affected, and carpets and furniture were removed from the building. The classrooms and some other areas of Lewis Hall will be utilized for the upcoming fall semester, while work will continue on projectors, televisions and computers in the classrooms that were damaged or destroyed in the flood.

"Due to the extensive nature of the damage, we are still working on compiling an estimate," spokesman Christian Basi said in an email. "Repairs are being made, but some may not be complete until January — some repairs cannot be made while school is in session. Finally, most faculty and staff are back in the building, and we anticipate the building will be open for the start of the semester."

The School of Health Professions takes up a large part of Lewis Hall. Departments within the school occupy the basement and seven floors of the building, including Tiger OT Adult Services, the department of communication science and disorders and diagnostic medical ultrasound. Lawhorn said more than 100 faculty and staff members, graduate students and student employees work in Lewis Hall.

More than 50,000 gallons of water flowed into the building on July 8, according to a video from the School of Health Professions. Lewis Hall also flooded in 2015 when a pipe burst on the top floor.

Supervising editor is Claire Mitzel.

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