As of January 2017, College Street Hall was still experiencing mold-related issues, more than two years after the mold problem in two of DePauw University’s dormitories first surfaced, according to a Putnam County Health Department inspection report. According to that report, the University remediated the mold and the case was closed within days.
There have been no known reports of mold this academic year.
Now, the first-year residence hall, along with Hogate Hall —staples of DePauw University’s campus since their inaugurations in 1973 and 1968, respectively—is scheduled to be torn down sometime in the near future due to its “environmental, structural, and mechanical problems,” according to Warren Whitesell, associate vice president of facilities management.
The demolition dates have not yet been confirmed, but Ken Owen, special adviser to President Mark McCoy, said, “Plans are still being formulated and an update is expected to be released in the following 10-15 days.” A location for the new housing has not yet been determined, but Alan Hill, vice president for student academic life, said they will be in South Quad where Hogate and College Street are now located.
Students will continue to live in the dorms next year, according to Hill. “I would say that our facilities are safe,” Hill said. He compared buildings like Hogate to “old houses” that require “love and care,” adding that sometimes issues—such as water or mold—can come back after treatment.
Allison Matio, a sophomore whose father filed the mold complaint last year, said the University reimbursed her for damages to her personal belongings. She also petitioned the University to move her to another building. Matio was eventually moved into Humbert Hall.
Jon Kroeger, a first-year Hogate resident and opera singer, considered moving out of Hogate last semester because he believed the air quality in his room was affecting his vocal abilities. DePauw housing suggested he move to College Street, but according to his friends, College Street was “no better.”
Sydney Guest, a first-year Hogate resident, said she has had a consistent cough for several months. “[Hogate] It’s like the dirtiest of all the dorms. Just in general, things that can’t be cleaned, like the walls, are gross.”
Alumni experiences put into perspective just how much Hogate has changed since their time at DePauw.
Pamela O’Connell, a ‘94 DePauw graduate, said in a social media chat that “Hogate was the second-best dorm, based on the fact that it offered suites, air conditioning, and an elevator.” However, she added that, “As with all things, there comes a time when change is necessary and I hope that the new construction will be a place where students can call home.”
Residents agree they will miss many aspects of the anti-riot style dorm. Jerald Parks, a 2017 DePauw graduate, said he most enjoyed Hogate’s suite-style rooms and creating a community with other residents close by. “I personally hold Hogate close to my heart, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t have its shortcomings as well,” said Parks.