Beaufort News

Ridgeland school to reopen today

Ridgeland High School will re-open today after S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control officials failed to find any chemicals or contaminants on campus, according to a Jasper County School District news release Sunday.

Between 200 and 300 people were at a Friday night basketball game against Allendale-Fairfax when a ventilation unit at the three-year-old school came on, emitting an odor that sickened several players and spectators, according to town officials. Illnesses ranged from nausea and vomiting to skin irritation.

Unsure of the cause of the illnesses, emergency responders ordered an immediate lockdown of the school.

At least two people were taken to the hospital though no serious injuries were reported. They were treated and released, officials said.

On Saturday and Sunday, the campus was checked for air quality and cleared by officials with DHEC and the Ridgeland Fire Department.

Their assessment, along with testing by Charleston-based air quality testing firm GEL Engineering, found no contaminants prohibiting students or staff from entering the Ridgeland campus facility, according to the news release.

Robert J. Huff, a Jasper County School District spokesman, said in an e-mail Sunday that the district expects to release the findings of GEL Engineering's report as soon as it is complete.