On Monday, the University of Montana officially reopened the doors of McGill Hall that had been closed for over 30 days to clean up asbestos discovered in the building.

UM Communications Director Paula Short said the majority of the building has been reopened.

“Working with a certified industrial hygienist as well as contract companies and our facilities crews, we were able to clean the building per the recommendation of the hygienist,” said Short. “That included a thorough cleaning, HEPA vacuuming of all of the surfaces including ceilings, walls and floors. We did a HEPA cleaning on the floor tiles throughout the building and resealed them. After the cleaning we did clearance testing with both air and wipe sampling to determine that the cleaning was successful and the building was ready to be reoccupied.”

Short said McGill Hall houses a number of university facilities.

“We have a number of offices, classrooms and laboratories in McGill Hall,” she said. “Specifically, Health and Human Performance is based out of McGill Hall, as is Media Arts. One of the priorities for reopening the building quickly is that both of those majors require specialized computer equipment as well as athletic equipment and so it was very important to get those labs and classrooms reopened and the students back in the building.”

McGill Hall once also housed a daycare center for children of university employees, however Short said the search is on for a new location.

“We are currently looking for sites for the UM Child Care Center,” she said. “We did relocate the child care out of McGill Hall and it is currently in a temporary place inside our College of Education and Human Sciences. One of the things we’re looking at is how to consolidate the multiple sites for ASUM child care into one facility. McGill Hall could once again be that location, however, the lower level has not yet been cleaned, and it’s probably going to take a few more weeks to get that work completed, but that area has been segmented away from the rest of the building to prevent cross contamination.”

Short said UM’s staff is looking at all the buildings on campus of an age where asbestos might be present and is receiving advice from their certified industrial hygienist to ensure those areas are safe.

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