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School will test for odor source

Ironton City Schools will spend its Thanksgiving break looking for the source of an odor that sparked complaints this week at Ironton High School.

Wednesday, November 22, 2000

Ironton City Schools will spend its Thanksgiving break looking for the source of an odor that sparked complaints this week at Ironton High School.

"We’re beginning to think there are a multitude of problems, not just one source," superintendent Steve Kingery said. "A company from Huntington (W.Va.) will do an air quality test."

The odor, sometimes a musty or sewer-type smell, affects the Heplar Street side of the building and has been around for years, Kingery said.

Companies contracted with under previous administrations could not locate the smell but tested the air.

"It’s an unpleasant odor but there’s no danger of health problems," Kingery said.

Still, students and teachers complained of ill effects this week.

That’s likely because instead of running the building’s heating system in such a way as to diminish the odor as in previous years, workers ran the heating system in normal capacity to try and find the odor source, Kingery said.

City smoke tests in October found some leaks where sewer odors could have entered the building. Those have been repaired. A smoke test Saturday found no other leaks, so school officials are looking for other sources, Kingery said.

Built in 1925, the building has many places to check, he said.

The district is also purchasing a "sniffer" device that will check odors when complaints arise, in hopes of finding the source, Kingery added.

"With a little bit of luck, we should find the source of the problem over Thanksgiving break."