Chelsea High School to Remain Closed Following Fly Infestation

Officials received a few complaints of flies in the kitchen area on Dec. 5

Chelsea High School will remain closed both Monday, December 19 and Tuesday, December 20, following a fly infestation.

In a letter to parents Superintendent Dr. Mary Bourque states "On December 5, 2016 our Facilities Management Department began receiving complaints of a few flies in the kitchen area. Our drain cleaning contractor was immediately called in to clean out all drains and grease traps as a possible source of the problem."

While the school was closed on Thursday and Friday, officials conducted a video investigation and analyzed the pipes that run under the school. The video revealed a total of four faulty pipes, two cracked and two completely broken, the Superintendent shared in a new statement released Sunday.

The school intends to cut through the concrete, fix the pipes, and restore the concrete slab to its original condition. Additionally, the building will be completely cleaned following the repair.

"There were flies everywhere in school like the cafeteria, gymnasium and hallways," said Antonio Falcon, a student at the high school. "Windowsills were packed with dead flies. It was nasty."

Another student, who asked to remain anonymous, said, "It's been like a week now with flies flying around people's food, in the hallways and bathrooms."

Sylvia Ramirez's son goes to Chelsea High School and she's concerned school won't be back in session by Monday.

"My son is not in school for two days," said Ramirez. "He has necessarily work to makeup."

Don Rivard, an independent pest control consultant, said, "First step is to identify the type of fly that it is."

Rivard heard about the fly infestation and tried reaching school officials to offer his help, but couldn't get a hold of anyone.

"Cleaning the environment where they're breeding will solve the problem," Rivard explained. "When the walls were opened up more flies came out so drain flies and fruit flies wouldn't live in the walls."

Superintendent Bourque says there is a possibility of school staying closed on Wednesday, but that decision will not be made until Tuesday afternoon.

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