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Spooner Middle School evacuation investigation now focused on ‘product’ used in neighborhood utility work

Spooner Middle School in Spooner, Wis.
Spooner Middle School in Spooner, Wis.(KBJR/CBS)
Published: Nov. 12, 2021 at 2:03 PM CST
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SPOONER, WI -- The investigation into what caused dozens of Spooner Middle School students and staff to need medical treatment Wednesday is now focused on a product being used during utility work in the surrounding neighborhood.

According to district leaders, they expect those results next week.

The middle school building was evacuated Wednesday morning after a strong “epoxy-like smell” was reported. Shortly after, students and staff started feeling ill.

Updated numbers school district leaders shared Friday show 36 students and 24 staff required medical treatment, which is 16 more individuals than they reported Thursday. At least two students were transferred to hospitals outside the Spooner area.

School district leaders say they are using “advanced environmental sampling” in their investigation into that product being used during the utility work.

School district officials did not immediately say in their press release what that product was or what utility work was happening at the time.

But school district leaders claim nearby residents were notified about sanitary sewer service work before it started.

School District leaders also claim they were never notified about the work and were not able to take the precautions that were apparently suggested to homeowners in the area.

The building has been closed since it was evacuated Wednesday.

Students will start learning remotely when they are able to pick up their computers on Monday.

Parents are expected to receive information about when students can pick up their computers.

Those pick up times will be on Monday, Nov. 15 at the Spooner Wesleyan Church.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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