The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Alvey Hall to be demolished due to mold

2 min read

Alvey Hall has been closed since 2018. | Megan Mecuro / The Blue & Gray Press

by NIYAH YISRAEL

Staff Writer

Alvey Hall will be knocked down over winter break due to mold problems. The residence hall, a co-ed dorm that was completed in 1990, was closed in 2018.

“Alvey Hall was closed during the fall of 2018 due to ongoing moisture control issues, which led to some mold growth on the walls,” said Paul Messplay, vice president of administration and finance and chief financial officer.

Alvey Hall has not been occupied by students since its closing.

“We have done no work on Alvey since it was closed other than to monitor it on a regular basis to ensure there was no further deterioration,” said Messplay.

Gynger Adams, a senior double majoring in art history and religion, remembers visiting Alvey years before it was closed indefinitely. Her brother, Lexus Adams, was a former student and resident of the hall during 2011-2012 school year. 

“I remember going to visit my brother … and there was like a smell in it,” she said. “I just assumed ‘ah, it’s the smell of an old building.’ Now that I think about it, it was probably mold.”

Arrington Hall, the residential building identical to Alvey, had an unrelated flooding incident in 2018 that resulted in students being re-housed elsewhere. The only difference was that the building was able to be salvaged and reopened after the damage was repaired.

“Arrington Hall is of the same vintage as Alvey,” said Anna Billingsley, associate vice president for university relations. “Due to a flooding problem there in 2018, it underwent a renovation in the latter part of 2018. Updates included new showers, flooring and mattresses.”

Messplay said that attempting to renovate Alvey would cost more than it would benefit. 

“Alvey has been closed since [2018] because the University has had sufficient housing stock to support the needs of our residential students and the cost for remediation and renovation exceeded the value of the building […] It was decided to raze the building rather than let it sit empty and deteriorate,” said Messplay. 

The cost of total mold removal for Alvey Hall would be “Between $12 -$15 million, depending on whether we kept the building as a residence hall or converted it for other uses,” said Messplay.

According to Messplay, there are no other “immediate concerns” about other residence halls on campus. 

“The University is making progress in addressing deferred maintenance in our residence halls, and we will continue to make improvements as we are able,” he said.

Construction is scheduled to take place during winter break.

“As a part of the project to raze Alvey, we will make landscape improvements to the site.  Although Alvey will be razed over winter break, the landscaping will not occur until spring,” said Messplay. 

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