DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Natural gas service has been restored at a Dallas ISD high school after an odd smell caused evacuations and made some students sick.
South Oak Cliff High School went without natural gas service for more than a day. Atmos Energy was called to the campus on Tuesday after reports of a strange odor that smelled like natural gas.
When crews arrived they discovered that there was indeed some type of leak because the gas line would not hold pressure. But they also found that the leak was inside the school, meaning that any repairs were the responsibility of the school.
Since there was a leak Atmos could not continue to pipe gas into the building, so service was turned off.
When Atmos crews returned to the campus Wednesday and performed another pressure test the pressure issued had been corrected so they restored natural gas service to the campus.
In addition to solving the mystery of the odor, the school cafeteria was back up and running today, after only being able to serve cold meals.
DISD board member Lew Blackburn said, “We will have gas flowing to the kitchen and to the boiler system, as well to some of the rooftop systems as far as operations of the building. They have turned off the gas to the rest of the building so they can do some more tests this weekend.”
The natural gas issue is just one o f a lit of problems that have plagued the school. Students and staff have had to deal with everything from lead in the drinking water, to termites in the nurse’s office and water leaking through the celling.
There have been ongoing complains from students and parents and administrators with the school district reassured that those voices were being heard.
Last fall, voters approved a $1.6 billion bond proposal to improve schools. CBS 11 News just learned today that South Oak Cliff High was previously set to get $13 million of those dollars, but the amount has now been upped.
“We’re working on doing some major renovations to the building,” Blackburn said. “We have allocated up to $40 million and there’s talk of even increasing that up to $52 million.”
Renovations to the school should start next June, but many parents have had continued complaints. While none are scheduled to speak at tonight’s DISD School Board meeting, Blackburn said he would understand if parents show up at the meeting.
“I wouldn’t be surprise and I wouldn’t blame them. I’m frustrated because we seem to have lots of things come up at South Oak Cliff High School,” he said. “I am impressing upon my staff and administration to make the building as safe as possible and when we come across a problem to address it very quickly.”
The DISD Board of Trustees will meet tonight at 6 p.m. The meeting is being held at the Dallas ISD administration building, located at 3700 Ross Avenue.
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