NEW BEDFORD — For the third time in a week, there are reports of the smell of gas at Normandin Middle School.

Scanner reports indicate that the building was evacuated at about 2:19 p.m. Wednesday after a report of a gaseous odor. Reports said the odor was reported near the teachers' cafeteria, and that a heating unit on the roof of the cafeteria had been shut down as a precaution.

Students had a half-day today at Normandin Wednesday, and had been dismissed at 11:20 a.m.

The all-clear was given at 2:57 p.m.

Arthur Motta, spokesman for New Bedford Public Schools, issued the following statement:

“A gas odor at Normandin Middle School was detected this afternoon in the Community Room only. No students were in the building. Any remaining staff were asked to exit the building as a precaution as Fire officials and Eversource were called per procedure. It was determined to be due to high winds, which disrupted a rooftop HVAC unit servicing the Community Room only. The all-clear was given. Eversource will be servicing exterior regulators this weekend unrelated to today’s issue.”

Back on December 6, an odor of gas was reported, but the building was not evacuated. That was determined to be coming from a boiler, and it was shut down as a precaution.

The next day, December 7, the school was briefly evacuated after a faint odor of gas was again detected in the school's boiler room. Students returned to class after the building was given the all-clear after about 15 minutes, with the source of the odor determined to be a gas regulator outside the building.


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