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The City Journals

Students evacuated from Jordan Valley School on last day of school

Jun 06, 2019 03:27PM ● By Julie Slama
Over 100 students were evacuated from Jordan Valley School on the last day of school Thursday morning after a custodian detected a chemical odor.

At about 9:30 a.m., the custodian detected the extreme odor coming from a therapy pool. She immediately turned off the valves and contacted Unified Fire Department. 

Students began evacuation to the southwest corner of the campus while fire department and hazmat crews arrived and evaluated the scene. Later, the students walked or were wheel-chaired to a neighboring church identified as their emergency shelter and later picked up by their parents. 

Jordan Valley is a school for students with severe and/or multiple disabilities including autism, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, seizure disorders, communication impairments, genetic disorders and syndromes and students who are otherwise medically fragile. The goal at Jordan Valley is to improve the quality of life for students, age five to 22, and their families.

As of noon, crews were determining if the odor was a spill or a leak in the lines, Canyons School District spokesman Jeff Haney said.

"The kids were in good spirits," said Haney. "It was sunny outside and it was exciting that fire engines and hazmat crews were arriving at their school. What's a better way to end the school year than with fire engines roaring up the school."

Haney also said the students were not aware that the scenario was not in fact, a drill.

"The teachers and aides did a good job keeping the students calm and safe during the incident," he said. 

The school was later given the all-clear. Haney said they have contracted with a disaster clean-up company to continue mitigating the site.

The cause is still under investigation, but it’s believed it was caused by a faulty line leading to the therapy pool.