Pittsburg High School dismissed classes early Tuesday because of a gas leak in the building.
According to school officials, there was a small leak on a heating unit on top of the building. When facility and staff arrived, between 7:15 and 7:30 a.m., they noticed the smell of gas and called authorities.
"They began to use the gas detectors, and they quickly found that the gas leak was a small gas leak in a flexible gas hose on top of the building," said Pittsburg ISD superintendent Judy Pollan.
State law requires gas lines at public schools to be inspected every two years. Pollan says the leaking gas line passed inspection in July 2012.
School officials kept students in the school's adjacent buildings during the investigation and made the decision around 9 a.m. to run buses and have students sign out and go home for the day. By 10:30 a.m., all the students were gone.
"It took awhile because we just don't send almost 700 kids home lightly, and so we conferred and decided that would be the best thing," Pollan said.
Pollan says school officials learned valuable lessons because of Tuesday's unexpected evacuation.
"We probably need to divide the students up more and have them in some various locations to make it simpler for the parents to check them out, because it was crowded in the gym," she said.
Pollan says their emergency plan had also never taken bad weather into account.
"We could have allowed some of them to walk home, but since it was pouring down rain, we held all of the students to make sure that they got home safely, because it was thundering and lightning part of that time also," said Pollan.
Pollan says she's grateful for the quick response of Pittsburg High School students, parents, and faculty.
"Our main thing, we're just so grateful that all the students are safe," Pollan said.
Crews finished inspected the building around 5 p.m. and classes will be held at Pittsburg High School Wednesday.
The district will consult with the Texas Education Agency to determine whether students will have to make up the classes they missed because of the leak.
None of Pittsburg ISD's other campuses were evacuated Tuesday.
Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:23 AM EDT2013-06-18 13:23:30 GMT
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