EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – East Longmeadow High School students and staff waited briefly outside after smoke caused by a utility ventilator was cleared Thursday morning.

East Longmeadow Superintendent Gordon Smith told 22News a belt seized on a utility ventilator in an art classroom causing it to smoke. At around 6:35 a.m. a teacher in the building alerted the custodian who was able to shut it down. Due to the smoke, the fire alarm was triggered.

The building was evacuated while members of the East Longmeadow Fire Department deemed it safe. The school delayed students and staff from entering and the drop-off for buses was moved to the loop near the tennis court until an all-clear was given.

Superintendent Smith thanks the custodian for acting quickly and the students and staff for making the incident smooth and flexible. He said the building is 63 years old, and problems like this can occur. Fans were used to clear the smoke and an electrical smell lingered.

A proposed new high school is projected to have construction begin in the summer of 2024 and tentatively completed by the fall of 2026. A public forum is being held Thursday, September 21 at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria at the high school. A tour of the high school is taking place ahead of the meeting at 5:30 p.m.

On November 7th, a town-wide debt exclusion vote will be held to appropriate the full
project cost. If the voters reject the project and the community does not see a way to
approve the proposed new school project, then the school will remain as is.

Local News

WWLP-22News, an NBC affiliate, began broadcasting in 1953 by providing local news, network, syndicated, and local programming to western Massachusetts. Follow 22News on X @WWLP22News, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.