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Sickening smell inside Cary Elementary School concerns parents

Posted at 8:42 AM, Apr 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-30 08:42:32-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- What is causing the foul smell in Richmond's John B. Cary Elementary School? It is a question that has parents concerned and Richmond school leaders investigating. While the cause of the odor is not yet known, school leaders told parents at a Wednesday night meeting that tests have shown the building is healthy from an environmental standpoint. The school said experts have inspected the school's walls, ceilings and sewer system. The school has even installed ceiling tiles in rooms and plans to install exhaust fans with purifiers and air fresheners.

School leaders said if they have no answers after a couple more weeks of testing, students would either be moved to classrooms in trailers outside the school or scattered throughout eight other Richmond elementary schools.

"If we still come back with question marks, we are getting your babies out of here. Period. Point blank. No questions," a school official said.

Parents said something needed to happen fast because the smell inside the school was making their children sick.

"His nose is continuously bleeding. Two and three times a day," parent Teshawn Cunningham said. "I’m getting calls at work that his nose is clotting, his head is hurting and no one has an answer why."

"They've done nothing but talk about putting some fans in one area so it doesn't smell so bad, they have no idea what our sons are breathing," parent Michael O'Brein added.

The school system has spent $1,000 so far investigating the source of the smell. If students are moved out of Cary Elementary, the school would close for a year, so a $1 million ventilation system can be installed.