Dangerous fumes force faculty out of PSFA building


Bella Ross

Student Success Specialist for PSFA Renee Rodriguez-Merino works in a temporary office space on the fourth floor of Adams Humanities after dangerous fumes in the PSFA building have deemed the area unsafe for faculty.

by David Santillan, Assistant News Editor

Fumes from renovations in the Professional Studies and Fine Arts building have prompted at least one department to temporarily relocate their offices to another building on campus.

Faculty from the School of Journalism and Media Studies have relocated to the Adams Humanities building due to strong-smelling fumes in the PSFA building. The fumes are coming from resin being used to adhere old roofing materials to new roofing material, according to project manager Amanda Scheidlinger.

The California Department of Public Health warns that overexposure to epoxy resins can cause irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and skin, skin allergies and asthma. The solvent additives can cause other effects such as headaches, dizziness and confusion.

“As the safety and security of the campus community is of prime priority, in response to the construction, the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) team went into the building and did not detect an elevated organic vapor level in PSFA,” Scheidlinger said in an email.

Even so, on March 4, Interim Director for the School of Journalism & Media Studies Noah Arceneaux sent out an email letting faculty know they’d be temporarily moving office spaces from PSFA to Adams Humanities.

“The issues related to building repairs continue,” Arceneaux said in an email sent to faculty and staff. “We are working with the campus to find alternative work space so that we can have a safe environment to work in. We expect that the alternative work spaces will be available on Monday (March 4), for a temporary relocation of administrative staff, directors and faculty (if necessary).”

According to Scheidlinger, there are only a couple of days remaining before renovations are complete, but repairs have been delayed due to bad weather conditions.

“It is important to clarify that the roof repair work is only being completed during the weekends. With that said, the project completion has been delayed due to ongoing, intermittent rain. Per weather cooperation, the project should be completed within the next dry weekend period,” Scheidlinger said.

She added the university is taking any complaints about the repairs seriously.

Journalism sophomore Sierra Mahoney said some of her professors have told students they would be holding office hours remotely, but have continued having classes in the building.

“I feel like since (professors have moved to temporary locations) it doesn’t seem right to have students in classes (in the PSFA building),” Mahoney said.