Spirit week cut short due to emergency evacuation


Treely Dowd

The junior class shows its school spirit dressed in blue while awaiting dismissal after evacuation on Friday.


At around 10:30 am on Friday, students and staff were told to evacuate the school due to a call to the main office reporting a smell on the first floor. The fire department was called while students stood at their rally points, until 11:45, they were asked to go to the bleachers in Newell stadium to wait for further instructions and announcements, where they remained until 12:20p.m. when they were dismissed by grade. Administration decided this was the smartest and safest move because National Grid wouldn’t be able to arrive in time for students to return to their lunches.

CATA was contacted in order to ensure that all students were able to get home safely and efficiently, and students who had left their bags in the building were given the opportunity to get their belongings.

After the evacuation, National Grid arrived and it was determined that the odor had come from a piece of equipment in the boiler room that was being prepared for the cold weather. Windows and doors were opened in order to ventilate the school, and students were allowed to return to the school for extra curriculars, and the football game scheduled for that night continued as usual.  

Unfortunately, the pep rally planned for the end of the school day had to be cancelled, but the administration promised that a pep rally would happen “sometime this year”. As it was the end of spirit week and many students were dressed in class colors, festive pictures were taken by staff members and Gillnetter photographer Treely Dowd in the stadium.

“I want to commend the poise, patience, and clarity of GHS employees, including the Crisis Intervention Team, the Student Resource Officer, the Assistant Principals, and all of the faculty and staff,” said principal James Cook in an email sent out to families later that day. “Also, because of the collaboration between the Fire Department, the Department of Public Works, National Grid, and Gloucester High School we were able to maintain everyone’s safety throughout the event.”

The school is completely safe for a return to normalcy on Monday, October 18th.