According to the South Washington County School District:
After a review of East Ridge High School by Woodbury Public Safety and Xcel Energy it was determined that the odor was traveling through the building's ventilation system and was an odor from nearby construction.
To further ensure a safe environment, teachers returned to the building to investigate their rooms and look for anything that may have been out of place or that was in the environment that would require further investigation.
Knowing there was a major event (football game) on the campus Friday evening, these extra precautions were taken. The school and all buildings and grounds have been deemed a safe environment. As a result, all after school and evening activities will be held as scheduled.
Students can return to the building to pick up their personal items until 6:30 p.m. today. Enter through the activities entrance and a staff member will help you access the areas of the building needed.
•••A Friday morning gas smell* forced the evacuation of students and staff from East Ridge High School in Woodbury.
Crews were repairing the leak mid-day, but a strong odor of mercaptan, or the "rotten egg" smell added to natural gas, could be smelled around the building.
Students were sent to the Bielenberg Sports Center and/or Five Oaks Church while fire crews and gas repair service was on site, rather than have them wait outside. Staff decided temperatures Friday, which were in the low 40s, were too cold to simply "wait it out."
Here's a copy of the e-mail sent today to parents and staff from the South Washington County School District:
A message from EAST RIDGE HIGH SCHOOL
This is Barb Brown, Communications Director for District 833. In cooperation with the Woodbury Police Department, we evacuated East Ridge High School at approximately11:25 a.m. due to a natural gas odor evident throughout the building. Due to the cold temperatures, students were sent to Bielenberg and/or Five Oaks Church. All students are safe.
Both the fire department and Excel energy are on site working on the situation.
We have determined that students will be released once buses are able to arrive on site and pick up students (approximately 1 p.m.). Student drivers are not being allowed on school property at this time to return to their cars. If parents choose to pick up their student, they must have a valid ID and will not be allowed to take other students with them.
Thank you for your cooperation.
This e-mail has been sent to you by EAST RIDGE HIGH SCHOOL. To maximize their communication with you, you may be receiving this e-mail in addition to a phone call with the same message. If you wish to discontinue this service, please inform EAST RIDGE HIGH SCHOOL either IN PERSON, by US MAIL, or by TELEPHONE at 651-768-2300.