Mystery Odors Return at Northport Middle School

Parents and school district administrators say the persistent problem of mysterious odors returned Monday to Northport Middle School.

The odors were reported in two classrooms, the district said, in classrooms for sixth and seventh graders.

As a result, the district said, it will bring in an outside consultant for further review and expect to provide an update to our community once their review is complete. A statement from Superintendent Robert Banzer said that it was possible that the heavy rain of the last couple of days might have been a factor behind the latest problem.

Parents, however, have been complaining about the odor problem for some time, some over decades, and plan to assemble outside the school Thursday to demand a solution. “Children have been getting headaches, sick to their stomach and there has even been an emergency room visit. The parents want their children removed from the school,” an email to read. 

The statement from Superintendent Robert Banzer said, “When district personnel learn of a potential indoor air quality issue (IAQ), we follow certain procedures to help us determine what might be the cause of the issue in a building that is 65 years old. Those protocols include a progression that starts with the building team and district personnel inspecting the classroom looking for the potential cause.

The two affected rooms were G-51, which is a newly renovated science room, and L-83, which is located in the back of the school building. 

Another parent wrote,

 “Any additional indoor air monitoring conducted at Northport Middle School must be undertaken promptly as part of a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study designed to:
a) pinpoint all of the possible on-site and off-site sources of known and potential toxic contamination identified in the School and 
b) determine if all contamination sources can be eliminated in order to halt indoor air toxic pollution within the School.  
If Northport Middle School cannot be rendered free of toxic pollutants within a very short period of time, an alternate non-toxic-contaminated school should be utilized to instruct the students as quickly as feasible and practical.
“Given the irrefutable shortcomings of all of the consultant investigations that have been conducted to date at Northport Middle School, any Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study must be undertaken by a firm that has not been previously involved with the School District.  That firm must have extensive applicable experience as well as an unblemished record of achievement in order to restore public trust in this highly regrettable matter.”
In November, the school board voted for soil testing at the school.


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