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Emergency Dismissals At Two Westchester Schools After Strong Paint Fumes Fill Part Of Buildings

Westlake High School
Westlake High School Photo Credit: Google Maps

Students at two Northern Westchester schools were released early due to paint fumes, the school district said.

At approximately 9:30 am, Friday, Dec. 13, paint fumes began to fill the halls of Westlake Middle School and Westlake High School in Mount Pleasant, said Mount Pleasant Central School District Superintendent Dr. Kurtis Kotes.

According to Kotes, the source of the fumes was quickly determined to be from paint being used by a contractor who was painting the Westlake Middle School boiler room.

Work was immediately stopped and the district construction manager overseeing the project was instructed to get information on the products being used.

Kotes said the "contractor completing the work was not doing so with the proper precautions and without reviewing the Safety Data Sheets appropriately."

Staff and students were relocated and the building was ventilated.

After the evacuation, the fire department arrived on campus to assess the situation.

"The fire department examined both buildings and determined that there were no risks and that they deemed the building safe for re-entry," Kotes said in an email.

As a further precaution, maintenance staff entered the buildings following clearance from the fire department and opened all windows for approximately 45 minutes.

A plan is being put in place for students to enter the building on Saturday, Dec. 14, to get their personal belongings. Parents will be notified of a time.

No injuries were reported.

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