High school will close for testing

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 30, 2000

Ironton school officials will close the high school Friday so U.

Thursday, November 30, 2000

Ironton school officials will close the high school Friday so U.S. Environmental Protection Agency crews can test the building’s air quality.

Email newsletter signup

The district invited the EPA to conduct the test after an odor in the school building caused concern among students, educators and parents, superintendent Steve Kingery said.

"We’ve exhausted all our local resources and nobody has been able to determine what gases we’re dealing with nor the source of the gases," Kingery said. "And we want a solution to this."

The odor, sometimes a musty or sewer-type smell, affects the Heplar Street side of the building and has been around for years but posed no serious health concerns, he said.

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

A Huntington, W.Va., company had scheduled tests for Wednesday but had to postpone, so the district contacted the EPA, Kingery said.

Federal EPA officials will work with the Ohio EPA – and possibly that company – to identify the problem, which when the odor is strong causes people in the building to feel ill, mostly nauseous, the superintendent said.

"The gentleman I spoke to (with the EPA) felt confident they could determine what we’re dealing with and the source," Kingery said.

Test results will not be available immediately, but the district is hopeful they will be soon, he said.

"Our desire is to identify the gases and sources and correct whatever problems exist to eliminate them."

Ironton High School will be closed Friday for the testing. Classes will resume Monday.