High school evacuated as HAZMAT team investigates

October 5, 2012

A hazardous chemical spill at Aspen Valley Alternative High School Friday afternoon turned out to be nothing that a little baking soda and some paper towels couldn’t handle, said Principal George Stone.

The District-20 alternative school on Chapel Hills Drive, which has 104 students, was evacuated for a little more than an hour Friday after a teacher spotted unusual corrosion on the lock of the chemical supplies closet, Stone said. 

The school was advised to call 911 and students were evacuated a block from the building to the district offices while Colorado Springs Fire Department hazardous materials crews responded to check for a chemical spill.

Officials determined that every chemical was safely intact inside the cabinet, and that the residue of a mild corrosive, which had previously spilled, was the culprit for the rusty discoloration on the lock.

“It turned out to be a wonderful opportunity for staff and students to respond to a perceived emergency situation and to evaluate how they would do in a real situation. And they did fantastic,” Stone said.

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