Classes cancelled following emergency evacuation at Richfield Middle School


    January 24, 2020 – Richfield, WI – Classes have been cancelled at Richfield Middle School today, Friday, January 24, following a teacher reporting the smell of gas in a classroom.

    A notification from the school is below.
    Good Morning Families,

    At approximately 8 a.m. today, Friday, January 25, 2020 the scent of gas was noticed by our Director of Maintenance, Ms. Melsheimer, in the band room at Richfield Middle School (RMS).

    Mr. Carron, our middle school principal, immediately contacted the Fire Department and the gas company.  

    A thorough inspection revealed that there was gas on the rooftop of RMS due to a pipe that cracked due to changing winter weather conditions.  

    Mr. Carron immediately began evacuating students from the building as well as contacted our bus company, Go Riteway, to assist with transporting students to FLES.  Go Riteway dispatched ten buses to RMS immediately.  Mr. Carron, Ms. Kastner, the middle school secretary, and many staff members assisted students with boarding buses to Friess Lake Elementary School (FLES).

    While the leak has been contained, the gas is now at zero, and the Fire Department has assured us that the building is safe and the scent of gas will dissipate within two hours, we have made the decision to cancel school for RMS.  

    Parents, you are free to pick-up your child(ren) at FLES anytime after receiving this message.  If you are unable to come to school prior to lunch, your child(ren) will be provided lunch.  We have already been in contact with Hartford Union High School who has also responded with action to support us.  If you are unable to come to school to pick-up your child prior to the end of the day, our RMS bus routes will run from FLES at their regularly scheduled time so that your child has a way to get home.

    The modification to this schedule is strictly concerning our RMS students and does not impact the schedule for our FLES students.

    We will send an additional notification today providing information about when families can report to RMS to pick-up any items left behind.  

    We will work to understand the best measures to prevent this in the future.  While this is an unfortunate situation, I am extremely proud of the responses made by our staff which moved student safety to the forefront of their actions.  I am also touched by the tremendous amount of support provided by our educational and community partners.

    Thank you for your support and understanding,

    Tara Villalobos

    District Administrator

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