Wamsley closes early for winter break

John GardnerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

RIFLE – An intermittent foul odor believed to be coming from a sewer near Wamsley Elementary School caused the Garfield School District Re-2 administration to dismiss students for winter break two days early.”The bottom line is the school has had some odors problems that have infringed on the learning environment of the students,” Garfield School District Re-2 director of districtwide services Theresa Hamilton said. “Since we don’t have an immediate solution, principal Desha Bierbaum and Re-2 administration thought it would be best to let them out a couple of days early.”Re-2 has been working with the city of Rifle to eliminate the problem but they have been unsuccessful in tracking down the exact cause. Charlie Stevens with Rifle’s water department was unavailable for comment Wednesday afternoon.The odor has been present for the past couple of weeks, stronger some days than others, according to Hamilton. But Hamilton said city officials tested the air quality around the school and found it to be of no danger to the students.”Everything is safe,” Hamilton said. “It’s never been an issue of student safety, it’s just a little unpleasant.”Wamsley students will now have no school today or Friday, Hamilton said. The remainder of the district’s schools, with the exception of Roy Moore Elementary, will continue attending school through Dec. 21. Wamsley students will return to classes on Tuesday, Jan. 8, unless the odor persists.But Hamilton was confident the problem would be rectified by then.”The Re-2 maintenance department, with the cooperation of the city of Rifle, will be working diligently through winter break to solve the situation and we will continually reassess as more information becomes available,” Hamilton wrote in a statement to the Post Independent.Contact John Gardner: 384-9114jgardner@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

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