Unexplained smell closes JCKL computer lab

Written by Muleskinner Staff

Senior Writer
(WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG) — The Harmon Computer Commons, located in the James C. Kirkpatrick Library, smelled so much it closed for a day.
Gail Staines, dean of library services, sent an email to all teaching faculty Thursday, Feb. 23, to announce the closing. She said the closure was due to “some sort of unidentified smell.”
Staines said in the email Facilities Planning and Operations, and the Public Safety team had visited the commons and investigated the origin of the smell.
Scott Rhoad, director of UCM Public Safety, said the smell was most likely a minor electrical issue.
“We didn’t find anything wrong, FPO didn’t find anything wrong,” Rhoad said. “There’s no danger, no hazards. I would equate it to when the ballast on a light goes out, just that funky odor.”
In a second email sent Thursday, Staines said FPO did a thorough job evaluating the HCC for the unidentified smell. She said they checked all the electrical outlets, computers, HVAC and lights but were unable to detect what caused the smell.
Nancy Gieselman, administrative assistant to the dean, said FPO opened up the ventilation system for the HCC on Thursday to help clear the smell.
After keeping the HCC closed for the night, Staines sent another release notifying campus faculty and staff that the smell had dissipated and reopened Friday morning.
Staines said the rest of the library remained open and unaffected as the investigation continued.