Strange odor at Kenston Middle School hospitalizes 10 students, 1 staff member

GEAUGA COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - A total of 11 people were hospitalized after falling ill at a Bainbridge Township middle school.

Kenston Schools Superintendent Nancy Santilli said 10 students and one staff member from Kenston Middle School were taken to an area hospital after feeling dizzy and lightheaded because of a strange odor discovered in two classrooms.

The incident triggered the evacuation of 670 students.

Student Abbie Stefancin grew concerned during the evacuation.

"We were on the bleachers and then I didn't see my sister and then I got information that she passed out and had to be taken to the hospital," she said. Her  sister is going to be OK, as are all the others.

During a news conference Tuesday morning, Superintendent Santilli said the odor was caused by a roofing adhesive, which was brought in through the school's air handlers.

"The students had dizziness, light headedness, things like that," said Bainbridge Township Fire Chief LouAnn Metz. "There was no respiratory distress, there was no, you know, vomiting, seizuring or anything like that."

Officials will check the school's ventilation system and evaluate the work that contractors do during school hours.

"The safety and security of our students is vitally important," said Santilli. "We will have a meeting with the contractors later this afternoon and we will go through all those precautions."

Multiple ambulances responded to the school, which is located at 17425 Snyder Road, around 9:10 a.m. Tuesday morning to transport the ill individuals for observation.

Kenston Middle School holds classes for sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. Several parents of Kenston Middle School students went to the school to pick up their children during early dismissal.

Classes are expected to resume normal operation on Wednesday.

Police Chief Jon Bokovitz praised the districts quick response saying, "The school got right on it, got their people up there for sign-out procedures and it went pretty smoothly."

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