PORTLAND — A kindergarten class at Hall Elementary School has been moved to another classroom while school officials investigate an unknown odor.

The class started meeting in the school’s library in mid-February, after its teacher noticed an earthy, unfamiliar odor in the classroom, Principal Kelly Hasson said Wednesday.

Maintenance workers removed interior and exterior walls looking for the odor’s source, but they found none, said Hasson, who heads the school off outer Brighton Avenue.

The odor is no longer noticeable in the room, which has its own heating and ventilation system, said Doug Sherwood, facilities director of the city’s schools.

The walls have been replaced, and the relatively new carpet will be cleaned and dried before a company tests the room’s air quality next week, Sherwood said. Earlier air quality tests didn’t reveal any problems.

On Monday, the displaced kindergarten class began meeting in a classroom that had been occupied by a special education class, which has moved to the new Ocean Avenue Elementary School.


Even if the air quality in the closed classroom turns out to be fine, school officials plan to reserve the room for meeting and multipurpose space.

During his school budget presentation on Tuesday night, Superintendent Jim Morse cited the odor problem as another reason for the school district to establish a reserve account to finance more than $60 million in capital improvement needs.

The district has applied for state funding to replace Hall, which was built in 1958 as a temporary school for children of military personnel who lived in nearby Sagamore Village. 

Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at:


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