ST. MARY’S CITY, Md. (WJZ)–Hundreds of St. Mary’s College students will spend a semester sleeping on a cruise ship. It’s all because of a huge mold problem.

Monique Griego reports from St. Mary’s College.

The students were all set to get on board Monday, but things didn’t go as planned.

“I kind of thought it was a joke at first,” said Caitlin Whiteis, student.

But the “Sea Voyager” is no joke. The 300-foot sea vessel is where 240 St. Mary’s students will live for the semester.

“It’s pretty exciting,” said Alison Horvat, student. “I mean how many people get to say they live on a cruise ship?”

From dorm room to dockside, the floating dorm is how the school decided to deal with a mold problem that forced the relocation of two dorms.

“It was the pipes in the ceiling,” Whiteis said. “We never really saw it. Our dorm flooded during Irene.”

Originally, students were put up in hotels. But school leaders didn’t like the distance to campus, so St. Mary’s College President Joe Urgo says an alumni told him about an empty cruise ship coming through the area.

“We said ‘Well, it sounds possible,’ and made some phone calls, and the more possible it seemed,” Urgo said.

The cruise ship is docked in the St. Mary’s River right next to campus.

“I think they did an amazing job pulling it all together in such a short amount of time,” said Dorothy Horvat, who came to help her daughter Alison get on board. “It sounds like they’re going to have more amenities on the ship than in dorms like housekeeping service.”

But just as students were about to come down the ramp to board the ship, school leaders announced there was a problem getting the ship to dock and their move-in date was delayed 24 hours.

“I’m ready to be settled somewhere,” said Alison Horvat. “I want to have a home.”

Horvat and the other students will head back to the hotel until their adventure on the ship can begin.

School leaders say they hope to have the students moving on board sometime Tuesday night.

The relocation is expected to cost St. Mary’s around $1.5 million. They hope to have all the mold cleaned up by the start of next semester in January.


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