SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Inspectors found mold in nearly 1,200 dorm rooms at a military complex in San Antonio, leading to hundreds of military personnel being housed in hotels, according to a top Air Force commander.
The mold was found at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland and at the Camp Bullis training support center, Brig. Gen. Laura Lenderman told the San Antonio Express-News on Tuesday. Mold also was found at other bases that are part of joint military operations in San Antonio, she said.
Lenderman said in a statement Monday to personnel that having mold in military housing is “unacceptable.” Officials acknowledged other problems with housing, as well, such as sewage backups.
About 225 technical-training students have been relocated to on-base hotels. Military leaders have known about the mold for some time, Lenderman said, and staff has been working for months to remediate the problem.
Workers were treating the mold with bleach and replacing carpet while also installing vinyl planks and ceiling fans. There are 77 dorms and 27,000 beds in Joint Base San Antonio, according to the Express-News, making it the largest of its kind in the nation.
A five-year funding plan for Lackland includes two large training complexes that will be used to house recruits in basic training, according to the Express-News. But for the time-being Lackland is forced to rely on dorms that were built in the 1960s and 1970s.
The findings follow an apology to Congress in March by top leaders of the U.S. military services for allowing substandard living conditions at housing facilities across the country.
The civilian and uniformed leaders of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps laid blame largely on the private contractors who built the homes and are obliged to keep them in good repair. The officials vowed to renegotiate the long-term, multibillion-dollar contracts to ensure more accountability.
The issues have included lead poisoning hazards, mold and pest infestations in some military housing. Commanders at the bases were not uniformly aware of the depth of the problems, congressional investigators have said.