Students return to Battlement Mesa school after odor investigation

April 12, 2017

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – Students who attend the Grand Valley Middle School in Battlement Mesa are expected to be able to attend classes in the school tomorrow, following the investigation of odors in the building today.
After staff noted unidentified odors in the school today, Grand Valley Fire Protection District officials were dispatched. Students were evacuated to L.W. St. John Elementary School, and then returned by 3:30 pm today to head home after the fire department verified the odors were no longer present.

Upon arrival at about 11 am, fire crews found that a slightly elevated reading was noted on a monitor for hydrogen sulfide (sewer gas). The source of the smell has not been determined.

said Garfield County School District 16 Superintendent Ken Haptonstall. “To ensure a safe environment for the students, we evacuated the building. We notified people via auto dialers, and posted information on Facebook and our website, both when we evacuated, and when we sent the kids back to the school.”

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. Tomorrow morning at 6 a.m., the fire district will again test the building to ensure the safety of students to return.

Garfield County Environmental Health officials are also taking air samples from the building, which tests for 78 Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). Any long-term data produced from the vacuum sample will be available after lab analysis.