Nearly 200 GWU residents evacuated after concerns over mold

George Washington University evacuated 175 students living in two Townhouse Row units on 23rd Street in Northwest D.C. Sunday night due to concerns over mold contamination.

The school said via email that residents in those townhouses reported environmental concerns in their units earlier in the week. After inspecting the units, G.W.’s Safety and Facilities Division found evidence of water infiltration that will require additional investigation to locate the source.

Maralee Csellar, a university spokeswoman, confirmed that the residents of those townhouse-style units are members of Greek life organizations.

The university said all residents would be moved temporarily to local hotels out of an abundance of caution. The school is unsure of how long repairs will take, but stated its anticipates that it would be for at least two weeks.

The email from Brian Joyce, the director of fraternity and sorority life, and Baxter Goodly, associate vice president for facilities, planning and construction management, said the move would be conducted in two parts. The first portion included students packing for a two- to four-night stay starting Sunday night.

“Starting Tuesday, Sept. 7, we will coordinate with students by town house unit to move the remainder of personal belongings to the hotel using professional movers,” the school said. “For those who are not available on Tuesday or Wednesday during the holiday, we will coordinate your move with you on Thursday.”

The email noted that the move — happening only a week after classes resumed — was inconvenient for students.

“We realize that this is unexpected and an inconvenience to move at the beginning of the semester,” it said. “We pledge to continue providing you with information and updates as we learn more about the extent of the work to be performed.”

The school is planning a virtual community meeting for impacted residents and their families this Wednesday.

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