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UMD temporarily closes sports facilities due to mold

The University of Minnesota Duluth temporarily closed part of its Sports and Health Center this week after mold was discovered in the building.

The ice arena and climbing wall were closed Monday after staff determined that the substance found in the ceiling tiles was mold. University spokeswoman Lynne Williams said the mold is not a health threat, but because it was so widespread it was determined that closing the facility was the best option to begin cleanup.

“I was told that the mold is the most common organism found in an outdoor environment in the spring and fall seasons,” she said.

According to Williams, work began this week to remove the mold; contractors started by removing the ice from the facility. It’s estimated it will take about a month for abatement and painting before the facility can be reopened, Williams said.

“However, they won’t return ice into the facility until we fix the dehumidification problem,” Williams said. “This is all of a result of inadequate dehumidification, so until we get that straightened out they won’t return the ice.”

Williams said the facility is heavily used, so staff has been working to identify other ice in town to be used by club sports, and is working with other programs to find other space for activities.

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