Gas Leak Closes Holland Elementary

January 3, 2011 Updated Jan 3, 2011 at 8:05 PM EDT

By Ed Reilly

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January 3, 2011 Updated Jan 3, 2011 at 8:05 PM EDT

(Holland, NY) The return to classes for students at the Harold O. Brumsted Elementary School in Holland was anything but normal this morning.

Shortly after the building opened, Principal Jeffrey Mochrie smelled gas near the music room.

Maintenance crews and National Fuel Gas representatives discovered a gas leak in a control valve in a roof mounted heating system.

Gas to the unit was shut off and the elementary school was ventilated.

District officials then implemented part of their emergency evacuation plan by re-directing 350 Pre-K through Fourth Grade students to Holland High School Auditorium. Breakfast was served to qualified students and a movie was shown.

All the kids were able to return to the elementary school by 11am.

"Fortunately, it was outside. So the gas was exiting and it was never really getting into the building - the major portion. It was just the amount of gas that was leaking that you did get a whiff in the building," says Holland Central School Superintendent Dennis Johnson.

Crews are repairing the faulty valve during non-school hours.

Officials says Harold O. Brumsted Elementary School will be open on Tuesday for a normal school day.