The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

Toxins filling the school air

Students and staff affected by construction chemicals
Alan Gardner
Construction continues at Park April 18. The construction causes strong smells that affect students and their work ethic in school.

Many students and teachers have been complaining about the high intensity of unusual smells caused by construction operations at Park. This has affected students’ ability to focus and learn, while also making it harder for the staff to teach.

Park physical education teacher Timothy Donahue said the difficulties caused by construction limit the space he is able to teach in, and, according to him, the tar smell is not the easiest to get away from.

“With construction comes lack of space. We’ve only been able to touch on a unit 2-3 times a week,” Donahue said. “I do think the construction workers try their best, but obviously, the tar smell is very strong and hard to avoid.”

Sophomore Muaad Abdi said the tar smell made his asthma worse, especially when being sick, and it interferes with his ability to learn.

“The tar smell has definitely been the most distracting and is by far the worst (scent) I have smelled,” Abdi said. “It really got to me because I had a cold, and I started coughing really bad, causing my asthma to kick in.”

According to junior Crew Lund, he felt a discomfort from the tar smell. He said the smell lasts for a while, which can cause students to feel ill and be distracted.

“The smell of tar (is)l weird, and it lingers around,” Lund said. “It gives you a headache when exposed to it for too long. It just makes you feel sick in general.”

Abdi said the best he could do was keep a distance from the windows to avoid the strong smell, but he emphasized the need for construction to finish quickly.

“I would move away from the windows to avoid the smell and distractions caused by construction, but the tar smell was all over the class,” said Abdi. “The best we can do is motivate the construction workers because it’s taking a long time.”

Lund said it is better to try and ignore the smells, as the construction workers need to complete their project.

“The construction workers have to do their job, there’s not much you can really do about them,” said Lund. “I think you just got to get used to it. I just push it aside, (as) usually, when you focus too much (on) it, it gets worse.”

Donahue said you have to just deal with the smells, which is what students have been doing well.

“There isn’t really a way to avoid (the chemicals). You just have to work with it,” said Donahue. “The students have been great. They understand and try to make it through with what we’ve got.”

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About the Contributors
Fares Hendi
Fares Hendi, Echo Staffer
Hey, I'm Fares and I'm a junior at Park. This is my first year on Echo and I'm so excited to be part of the team.
Alan Gardner
Alan Gardner, Echo Staffer
Hi my name is Alan, I'm a junior at St. Louis Park High School. This year I am a varsity runner on the cross country team and sing in the school choir. Outside of school I love to lift weights and hang out with friends. 

Comments (1)

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    anonymousMay 16, 2024 at 12:39 pm

    “Yeah bro just ignore your asthma attack it’ll be fine, deal with it”