What’s that smell?

By Jonathan Gamboa, Production Manager| Graphics by Scott M. Roberts

Staff, students complain of foul odor in the Student Services Building

 Reports of a strong, unpleasant odor in the Student Services Center have staff and students concerned about the origin of the smell and whether it is harmful.

Assessment Center Administrative Coordinator Jessica Forbes said because the Assessment Center is in the back of the building, close to the four bath­rooms, the Health Center gym and the cafeteria, is it hard to tell where the rancid dry rot smell is coming from.

“In the summer when it is really hot, I think the smell is amplified to where it is unbearable,” Forbes said.

Forbes began working in the Assessment Center a year ago and noticed the smell as soon as she walked into the building, she said. “It doesn’t affect our business of having stu­dents coming into the Assessment Center. I just think it looks badly on CNM having a foul smell around the Student Activities Center”, she said.

Director of Communications Brad Moore said there is a drainage issue in the plumbing system near the Bookstore and Student Activity offices from periodic lack of water flow causing the drains to dry up. If there con­tinues to be an odor, a plumbing company will be contracted to fix the problem.

SSC Building Manager Eugene Padilla and Director of Mechanical Services in Facilities Blaine Henderson declined to comment.

Employees, co-workers and students have all complained about the smell, said Forbes. She called Facilities to file a com­plaint in April of 2012.

“I told them there is a very bad odor in the building and it is unbearable,” she said.

She said her pri­marily concern when she filed the com­plaint was to make sure the odor was not harmful since employees in the SSC building are con­stantly breathing it in.

She said she could not count how many complaints she heard from both staff and students since Jan. 2012. The smell has been noticeable for months now, said former Liberal Arts major and Assessment Center Student Services Tech 2 Angela Perez.

She said when she and other employees walk in to the SSC first thing into the morning, the building is reeking. She said it smelled like a mixture of sulfur and rotten eggs.

“Complaints have reached our immediate supervi­sor, I just hope some­one can fix the prob­lem soon,” said Perez.

The smell does come from the back of the building behind the cafete­ria, she said. Since the SSC building is one of the older buildings on Main campus, plumb­ing issues have occurred over years.

“There was a similar smell in the LSA president’s building’s downstairs bathroom, which had a distinctive dry rot smell to it,” she said.

Maintenance kept pouring water in the drains to keep the odors from coming up the pipes, she said.

There would be a five-gallon bucket of water that would be constantly filled and poured down the drains by employees of the LSA building if mainte­nance did not come.

Moore said facilities will continue to monitor the situation and add fluids to the drain as necessary.

There have been three odor complaints filed with the Facilities Department in the past three weeks, he said.

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