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Cruise ship dorm leaves St. Mary's College

Colleges and Universities

St. Mary's College of Maryland said farewell to the most talked-about dormitory in its history on Sunday when the Sea Voyager, a 286-foot cruise ship, pulled up anchor. The ship, docked beside campus on the St. Mary's River, had housed 240 students since early November.

The students, mostly freshmen and sophomores, were displaced from two residence halls by mold. After an extensive cleaning, those halls have been declared safe to re-enter by CEI, an environmental consulting agency, the college said. Students are expected to move back to their original rooms when they return from winter break in mid-January.

Students generally greeted the displacement with good cheer, saying they would tell the story of their floating dorm for years to come. An alumnus suggested the ship as a way to bring students closer to campus after they were briefly sent to hotels as far as 45 minutes away.

"As we close this chapter in our school's history, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the extraordinary efforts of everyone who helped us with this unique solution," said St. Mary's President Joseph Urgo in a statement.

College officials said the clean-up and ship rental cost a combined $2.5 million.

childs.walker@baltsun.com

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