All 300 students at were safely back in class mid-morning on Wednesday after a natural gas leak was repaired.
The leak in the furnace room was discovered by a custodian at about 7:30 a.m. – about an hour before school even started, according to Schools Superintendent Dr. Raleigh Buchanan. Natural gas is used to heat the school.
The was called. National Grid, which provides the gas service, was also called.
“They determined that we needed to take caution and we agree,” Buchanan said.
Since the leak was discovered before the first students arrived at school, bus drivers were directed to drop students at the . For buses and parents that did show up at Winthrop, they were directed to Cutler.
Fire Chief Phil Stevens said when fire crews arrived no readings were measured on gas meters.
“It was a slight smell,” Stevens said. “You can’t take a chance with kids.”
National Grid workers identified the source of the leak in the boiler room and a plumber replaced a fitting to stop the leak.
While at Cutler, Buchanan said the students waited in the cafeteria and other open areas. School officials anticipated the repairs to be done quickly and didn’t plan to sent the students home. Buchanan also notified Winthrop parents via phone call and e-mail messages using the ConnectEd system.
The leak was repaired and students were back in school by about 9:30 a.m., Buchanan said.