Uni.lu shuts student residence as precaution

Student halls of residence the “Résidences Dominicaines” is pictured in Limpertsberg. Romain Gamba / Maison Moderne

Student halls of residence the “Résidences Dominicaines” is pictured in Limpertsberg. Romain Gamba / Maison Moderne

The University of Luxembourg has closed one of its student halls of residence after traces of legionella bacteria was found in hot water samples.

The “Résidence des Dominicaines”, a former convent in Luxembourg-Limpertsberg, houses some 60 students, who pay €335-€1200 per month in rent, according to the university’s website.

The University said in a statement that water samples found a high level of turbidity in some hot water samples, as well as contamination of some samples with legionella bacteria, which can lead to a pneumonia-type illness called Legionnaires' disease and a mild flu-like illness called Pontiac fever.

Although the university said the level of contamination was “not considered critical”, it intervened as a precautionary measure. The health inspectorate has been informed of the situation.

The site was previously adapted and expanded to house the growing Dominican order of nuns, which was founded in Luxembourg in 1890. It served to house occupying armed forces during WWII, after which it served as a prison for suspected women collaborators. The site’s church was destroyed in a fire in 1949, after which it was rebuilt. The nuns finally left the site in 2000.

Affected students were temporarily relocated to hotel rooms and short-term self-catering facilities at the expense of the university, before being rehoused in other residences.

To compensate the displaced students, the university waived two months’ rent for all residents impacted. Any increased rental costs in the new facilities will be covered by the university until the end of the student’s study programme.