Mystery stench plagues campus, surrounding areas of town

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Cassidy Wang

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School officials are still perplexed as to why a dank smell plagued hallways and classrooms during the past two weeks.

The whole school has been affected by the smell: classrooms, offices, hallways, and campus grounds.

“Because each classroom takes in fresh air, [they were] taking in the fresh air with that smell,” facilities manager Mike Gorman said.

As questions arose throughout the building, Gorman started his own investigation, with the help of the custodial staff.

“We started researching to find out where and why it was coming, and we found out that basically all over the town, [plus] adjacent towns, [there was] that same smell,” Gorman said.

Even after calling the Northborough Fire Department, the Department of Public Works, and local Marlborough sewers, no one had a solid answer to provide.

“I drove by [the Easterly Wastewater Treatment Plant], which is [about] two minutes from Algonquin, and it didn’t smell,” senior Kelly Harrison said.

All types of rumors and theories are coming from students and staff. One specific theory might be valid, according to Gorman.

The theory suggests the source might be local swamps covered in layers of snow.

“Once [the snow] started melting down, and we hit that warm period, it activated the methane gas and it just bloomed up,” Gorman said. “There was a bloom of gas that blew around depending on which way the wind blew.”

Even without a solid answer as to where the smell was coming from, Gorman and the custodial staff scrambled to destinkify the building.

“We [limited] the amount of outside air so we wouldn’t have the smell [and changed] the cycle of air in the rooms more,” Gorman said.

The source of the smell is still a mystery.

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