Bad odor closes Parachute school for hours |

Bad odor closes Parachute school for hours

Students had to leave Grand Valley Middle School for several hours Wednesday because of an unidentified odor.

Upon arrival at about 11 a.m., fire crews noted a slightly elevated reading on a monitor for hydrogen sulfide (sewer gas), according to a Garfield County press release.  The source of the smell has not been determined.

Students were moved to L.W. St. John Middle School for most of the afternoon before getting the all clear to head back to their school prior to the end of the school day.

During the evacuation, school officials shut down air dampeners for a couple of hours to stabilize the air, tested everything again, and found no elevations in readings, the press release said. The fire district will again test the building at 6 a.m. Thursday to ensure that it’s safe for students to return.

“Within 15 minutes of being notified by the Grand Valley Fire Department, students were being transported off-site to L.W. St. John,” Superintendent Ken Haptonstall shared on Facebook. “These precautionary measures, while disruptive to learning, are necessary as we always error on the side of caution.”

Garfield County Environmental Health officials are also taking air samples from the building, which tests for 78 volatile organic compounds. Any long-term data produced from the vacuum sample will be available after lab analysis, states the press release.

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