Sewer gas prompts closure of Mount Greylock Regional on Friday, Monday

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WILLIAMSTOWN — Mount Greylock Regional School officials have announced that the high/middle school building will be closed Friday and Monday, with all extracurricular activities postponed.

Off-gases from the sewage system being vented out of the building from the rooftop vents are somehow being sucked back into the building by the heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) system every morning, according to Jeff Kennedy, health inspector for the town.

Kennedy said it could cause nausea and dizziness in higher concentrations, but he is not sure how severe the issue is.

"I wasn't comfortable with that continuing," Kennedy said. "So, we decided to close the building and get that resolved."

He said the "vented sewer gas" settles on the roof at times.

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So, school officials have notified the contractors who installed the system and some HVAC engineers to evaluate the issue and come up with a fix.

"We'll go up there tomorrow [Friday] and come up with a good solution to abate this," Kennedy said. "It doesn't seem to be insurmountable."

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Kennedy said someone in the school noticed the odor every morning and contacted the inspector's office.

The school will be closed "to all" Friday and Monday, and "there will be no co-curricular activities or contests on Friday or Monday. Details regarding rescheduling will be communicated when they are available," according to an announcement sent out by Principal Mary MacDonald.

The building will be closed for inspection of the rooftop units and ventilation systems.

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"So testing can be completed successfully, it is imperative that no one enter the building on either of these days," MacDonald wrote.

Coincidentally, the February break gives students and teachers off for the coming week. School is scheduled to resume Feb. 24, after the break.

The Mount Greylock school building was opened after a $64.8 million construction/renovation project in September 2018, after a more than two-year construction process. It enrolls slightly more than 500 students.

District Superintendent Kim Grady could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Scott Stafford can be reached at sstafford@berkshireeagle.com or 413-629-4517.


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