LAS VEGAS, N.M. (KRQE) - Whatever has been making kids at a Las Vegas middle school who are complaining of stomach aches, headaches and increased heart rates was enough to evacuate the building last week.
Parents and staff have reported illnesses and complained of a funny smell, but it's still not clear what's been happening at Memorial Middle School.
The school was evacuated Friday after district officials worried something was very wrong.
"We've had some recent reports of a gas-like smell," Las Vegas City Schools Superintendent Sheryl McNellis Martinez told KRQE News 13 Tuesday. "Some staff members have reported they've had a headache, and most recently we've had a couple of students that have noticed the smell and a couple of students have complained of a headache."
After the evacuation, one parent suspected her seventh grade daughter's symptoms were much more, especially when her daughter called her saying she was sick again on Monday.
"Kendra has come home with headaches and stomach aches and a lot of allergy-like symptoms," parent Kathy Durán said. "So being that we've been so dry, I thought that's what I thought was going on."
Then she noticed something else.
"There was at least five kids that had been signed out, and at least four of those kids were with headache or stomach ache, so there's definitely something going on," Durán said.
Just after that the school was evacuated again.
School officials are now trying to pinpoint the source of the odor. They've called in government experts to help search for leaks and check every pipe.
"In that pressure test, because we raised that pressure we were able to identify a couple of small leaks," McNellis Martinez said.
They were fixed along with a broken sewer cap, but some students are still complaining.
The superintendent is still investigating.
"We're taking this very seriously, and right now were' at a point where we can assure it's safe to be in our buildings," McNellis Martinez said.
The superintendent says the school underwent an air-quality test in the spring, and that found traces of mold found. They replaced ceiling tiles, drywall and shrubs to get rid of it. They will undergo another round of air quality control test in two weeks.
Engineers were at the school on Tuesday also rechecking the heating system.
The superintendent said the smell could also be blamed on construction on a new student health center, which will be complete in about eight weeks.
The school is also requesting students and parents update their emergency contact information and check the school's website for the latest updates.
The school is also looking for bond money in February's upcoming election. Officials say it will be used to replace the heating system throughout Memorial Middle School.
Three Albuquerque veterans remember vividly the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the U.S. into World War II 72 years ago Saturday.
After getting out of federal prison early this week it looks like former state Sen. Manny Aragón isn't at a halfway house after all. He's back at his own house in the South Valley.
The owner and an employee of a local smoke shop are in federal custody accused of selling spice at the Rio Rancho store.
The New Mexico State Police officer who fired his weapon at van filled with kids during a traffic stop gone bad has been fired.
The civil case filed against former cop Levi Chavez in the gunshot death of his wife is coming to an end without a trial.
Could there be a serial dog snatcher in Roswell?