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Williamsburg Elementary closed again after headaches return

Williamsburg Elementary closed again after headaches return

March 8th, 2019 by Helen Wilbers in Local News

Williamsburg Elementary School is pictured in this 2012 photo.

WILLIAMSBURG — The cause of headaches among staff at Williamsburg Elementary on Friday remains mysterious.

While the school reopened Thursday after being closed over an apparent carbon monoxide leak Wednesday, classes were cancelled again Friday.

"We were in school all day (Thursday); and we had no symptoms, no complaints by faculty and students," North Callaway Superintendent Brian Garner said Friday. "But our front office has experienced some headaches. That's why, in interest for everybody, we've shut the building down 'til this is resolved."

Investigations by the North Callaway Fire Protection District on Wednesday suggested a carbon monoxide leak, possibly caused by a faulty HVAC unit. That issue was resolved Wednesday, and line testing conducted by Ferrell Gas found no gas leaks anywhere on campus, Garner said.

"Thanks to the dedicated efforts of Fast Fix LLC, Ferrell Gas and Timberlake Engineering, the carbon monoxide has been completely removed from the building," he said in a statement to students' parents Wednesday evening.

Another check performed early Thursday morning also found no traces of dangerous gases. Nevertheless, front office staff at Williamsburg reported watery eyes and headaches Friday morning.

Timberlake Engineering and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources were unable to identify a source causing the symptoms, Garner said.

"We have not found any traces of any contaminants," he said. "We have no combustible gases. Our carbon monoxide is zero parts per million. Our CO2 levels are normal. There's zero on methane, there's zero on propane. There's no VOC, which is volatile organic compounds. Our oxygen levels are also normal."

DNR officials were on scene Thursday and Friday to investigate, he added.

"We will work throughout the weekend until this issue is resolved," he said.

Garner added it is too soon to know whether or when the two missed days of classes will be made up.