Lambertville School Renovation To Blame For Temporary Odor

Residents might have noticed a distinct smell in Lambertville recently.

A drone shot of work at the Lambertville Public School in January.
Credit: SHRSD

City of Lambertville residents may notice a strong smell at times in the area. But not to worry, according to officials, who the odor is the result of ongoing renovations at Lambertville Public School.

The odor is linked to the installation of a new roof as part of the school’s PreK-4 renovation project.

South Hunterdon Regional School District Superintendent Tony Suozzo addressed the issue in a note shared by the city.

The superintendent explain that the smell originates from the hot asphalt used in the roofing process.

The method being used involves applying several layers of asphalt-impregnated sheets over thermal insulation, with hot asphalt used to bind the layers and provide an additional waterproofing membrane.

Suozzo reassured residents that the materials used are safe and comply with all current Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards.

A Honeywell monitoring system has been installed on the roof to ensure that fume concentrations remain within safe limits for workers.

“To date, it has not had any alerts,” Suozzo wrote of the system.

Credit: SHRSD

The superintendent acknowledged the inconvenience caused by the odor but emphasized its harmlessness to the surrounding community. He noted that atmospheric conditions could affect the intensity and duration of the smell.

Thanks in part to favorable weather, the roofing project is progressing quickly and is expected to complete the heavy demolition and installation phases by the end of the third week of February.

Remaining work will involve sheet metal flashing and drainage, which will not let off any major smells, Suozzo said.

Suozzo also addressed concerns about weekend work. He explained that an unexpected machine breakdown last Friday forced the roofing crew to work late into Saturday evening to seal a portion of the roof. He has since reiterated the importance of communication to the roofing contractor to make sure the public is alerted.

“Thanks for your patience!” Suozzo told residents.

Construction on the $7.9 million project broke ground last June.

The project will see the entire building modernized, the creation of a STEM lab, accommodations for students and staff with disabilities, and a 5,000-square-foot addition in the front of the building. The addition will house a secure entry way, offices, and other spaces.

The school is expected to reopen for students at the start of the 2024-2025 school year.

About the author

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for 12 years for both newspaper and online publications. Tom’s reporting has appeared locally, nationally, and internationally across several mediums. He is proud to report on news in the county where he lives and to have created a reliable publication that the community deserves.

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