A natural gas leak outside the John Wickes Elementary School at no time endangered school personnel or students, said Superintendent Richard D’Agostino.
He said the smell of gas was detected outside the school and that crews from National Grid started working on it Monday after school. D’Agostino said he met with the crew that afternoon and gas service to the school was shut off.
Meanwhile, Wickes Principal Roy Costa put out a Connect-Ed message to all parents, advising them of the situation and to plan on having their children in school Tuesday unless otherwise notified.
D’Agostino said he received a call from National Grid at 11 p.m. Monday night to report they were still working on the problem. A second call came at 6 a.m. Tuesday advising him that the work would continue but there was no danger to the school.
On Tuesday, a National Grid crew was replacing gas lines feeding the school’s rooftop heating systems. They were also in the process of replacing the school’s two meters, which are being relocated outside the building.
Costa said the first odors of gas were detected last Friday and that National Grid repaired and fixed that leak in the street. He said the utility then decided to replace the lines feeding the school and returned on Monday to do so.
As Tuesday was a warm day, Costa concluded, “We should be just fine [without heat].”
The system was expected to be fully operational in time for colder weather.