Gentry Middle evacuated because of glue smell

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 | 2:57 p.m. CDT; updated 4:47 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, June 25, 2014

COLUMBIA — Students were evacuated from Gentry Middle School shortly before noon Wednesday because of a chemical odor.

Michelle Baumstark, a spokeswoman for Columbia Public Schools, said students were taken outside after a glue smell from a roofing project at the school entered the ventilation system and permeated the building.

The fumes were not dangerous, Baumstark said, and the children were outside for a little more than an hour — long enough for the building to be aired out.

"It’s an uncomfortable learning environment. Honestly, it becomes a distraction for the students," she said.

After the students were let back in, they were kept on the first floor because it was taking longer to air out the building’s upper floor, Baumstark said.

The building is housing summer school for both Gentry and Jefferson middle school students.

Supervising editor is Edward Hart.

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