Art Room Closed Due to Kiln Issues

News, Rotator — By on January 3, 2012 6:09 pm

By Haleigh Ehmsen-

Students came back from winter break, Jan. 3  as expected but there was some confusion as art students approached the door of the art room. Students were not allowed to go into the art room today. The art room was blocked with a “Do Not Enter” sign and another sign telling students to report to the commons or other classrooms for their class period.

While everyone was on break, there was some sort of problem with the kiln in the art room. The school is not completely sure what happened and the situation is still under investigation.

The problem was detected by Principal Steve Brand’s wife when his family was using the gym at the high school on Sunday night. Mrs. Brand went to get a drink at the water fountain and smelled smoke. She told Mr. Brand, who then began to look around in the first floor classrooms. “My first thought was that the smoke was coming from the business lab or the family/consumer science room,” said Mr. Brand. When neither of those rooms seemed to be the problem, he headed up to the art room. Smoke was pouring out of the door. He unlocked the door and smoke filled the whole room. Mr. Brand said that it was difficult to see anything with all the smoke. When he got to the kiln room he pulled the lever that cuts the electricity. He then called the fire chief and Duraclean came the next day.

Duraclean was in the art room doing clean-up Jan. 2. They used a machine called an oxidizer which filters the air. The room still smelled like smoke today and some materials had to be thrown away like paper and boxes, things that absorbed the smoke smell. In the rest of the building, the smoke smell was barely noticeable.

Mr. Brand hopes to have art classes back in the art room Jan. 4, but the kiln will not be turned on until they figure out what the problem was. Calls have been put in to the man who

The kiln in the art room as it looks today, Jan. 3. Photo by Haleigh Ehmsen.

sold the school the kiln and Doug Hanson, a local ceramist, to get an expert opinion on what might have happened and what should be done.

“We’re lucky that it was caught,” said Mr. Brand.

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