UPDATE: Fulton Middle School students moved due to 'sulfur smell'

Posted on 22 November 2019 at 1:06pm

FULTON - Students from 6th to 8th grade in the Fulton School District are spending much of their Friday in different buildings due to what administrators described as a "sulfur smell" at the middle school.

The smell was caused by a faulty piece of floor cleaning equipment.

“Everybody is safe and in good shape,” Fulton School District Superintendent Jacque Cowherd said.

Cowherd continued by saying the students will be brought back to Fulton Middle School this afternoon for regularly scheduled dismissal and pick-up.

“I think the school response was quick and best they could do in the circumstances,” Sarah Burke, a parent of one of the middle schoolers said in a Facebook message. “I found it more funny than anything.”

“Kids weren’t in danger and I got several emails detailing what would happen,” she continued.

According to officials, custodians noticed a sulfur smell in part of the middle school when they arrived for work around 4:30 Friday morning.

The district said they called in plumbers to check for a “sewer back-up”, but no problems were found with plumbing in the middle school.

Officials say they also called in city utility workers and the fire department to rule out a gas leak as the source for the odor. However, neither party could determine the source.

The smell got worse throughout early Friday morning until around 7 as teachers and students started to arrive for the school day.

“As people started entering the building, the air handlers started working and spread that [smell] through the building,” Cowherd said. “Every time you tried to clear something it just compounded itself.”

At that point school officials decided to relocate students by bus to different schools throughout the district for Friday’s classes.

6th grade was relocated to Bush Elementary, 7th grade went to McIntire Elementary and 8th grade held their classes in the Fulton High School gym.

By the time officials isolated the faulty cleaning equipment, students had already been relocated for the day.

 “It was probably a good exercise for us when you think about evacuating a building” Cowherd said. “With how fast, if you would ever have a fire, those things move through the system.”

The district says classes will resume at the middle school on Monday.