Wednesday, May 15, 2019

HSU: Gist Hall Still Closed, Test Finds No Asbestos in the Air

Posted By on Wed, May 15, 2019 at 12:54 PM

click to enlarge Humboldt State University - FILE
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  • Humboldt State University
Testing by a private lab found no asbestos fibers in the air of Gist Hall, which has been closed for nearly a week after “disturbed material” was discovered during a routine check of the building’s systems, according to a release today from Humboldt State University.

A second test to “confirm that it is indeed disturbed asbestos” is slated and the results are expected by the end of the week.

“Until then, out of an abundance of caution, Gist Hall will remain closed for an estimated two to six weeks,” the release states. “During that time, the University will contract with a firm to develop a plan and carry out the cleanup.”

The discovery of the possible disturbed asbestos and ensuing closure of Gist Hall came in the midst of finals, with exams slated for the building moved to new locations.

Meanwhile, students and professors are unable to access their labs — and in some cases their classwork — due to the closure, with the Department of Journalism voicing concern on Facebook this week about the “fate of our student media, as the LJ, El Leñador, the video editing labs and the KRFH radio station are all in Gist.”

“Hopefully the university will make sure our students have space and equipment to operate in the fall,” the post states. “But if we don't hear good news soon, we might need some vocal support from our army of alumni to help us make sure our students aren't forgotten.”
Read the Humboldt State University release below:


No asbestos fibers have been detected in the air of Gist Hall, according to test results conducted by a private lab.

A company will now test the material to confirm that it is indeed disturbed asbestos. Results of this second test are expected by the end of the week.

Until then, out of an abundance of caution, Gist Hall will remain closed for an estimated two to six weeks. During that time, the University will contract with a firm to develop a plan and carry out the cleanup.

At this time, offices and other spaces in Gist Hall cannot be accessed for work or personal items. There are no exceptions.

Final exams scheduled for Gist Hall this week have been relocated to different spaces on campus.

Relocated Gist Hall Final Exams

The disturbed material was discovered during a check of the building’s systems on Friday, May 10, following reports of heating issues. The substance is presumed to be asbestos and is being tested for confirmation. It was discovered in a plenum—a space used to help circulate air—behind an access panel on the second floor.

After an extensive evaluation of the situation, Gist Hall was shut down that day to ensure the health and safety of students and employees. Classes were relocated, all activities were suspended, and the campus community was notified.

More updates will be provided when they’re available. Employees who work in Gist Hall should contact their supervisor. For general updates and information, visit humboldt.edu or call 826-INFO.
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Kimberly Wear

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Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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