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Gas leak at Woodstock High School causes emergency evacuation

Classes will resume Thursday

H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com 
Woodstock High School students wait for rides at Dean Street Elementary School after a gas leak forced an emergency evacuation of the high school. Students walked to Dean Street Elementary, where they waited for a little more than an hour before Woodstock School District 200 officials decided to cancel afternoon classes because the leak had not been fixed.
H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com Woodstock High School students wait for rides at Dean Street Elementary School after a gas leak forced an emergency evacuation of the high school. Students walked to Dean Street Elementary, where they waited for a little more than an hour before Woodstock School District 200 officials decided to cancel afternoon classes because the leak had not been fixed.

WOODSTOCK – Hundreds of Woodstock High School students flooded the Dean Street Elementary School campus after an emergency evacuation Wednesday interrupted SAT testing, but classes will be back in session Thursday.

Students evacuated between 11 and 11:30 a.m. because of a gas leak at Woodstock High School. They walked to Dean Street Elementary, where they waited for a little more than an hour before Woodstock School District 200 officials decided to cancel afternoon classes because the leak had not been fixed.

Numerous cars remained on the high school campus about 12:30 p.m. Students who could not be picked up were taken home by bus.

Senior students already had Wednesday off, and juniors had a scheduled half-day because of state SAT testing, said Superintendent Mike Moan, who was at Dean Street Elementary on Wednesday.

Students who were taking the SAT will have their scores invalidated at no penalty to them and will be retested Oct. 25, district officials said.

Junior Lindsey Bartkowiak waited for her ride outside Dean Street Elementary with a group of friends and said there was an obvious smell of gas in the hallways of the school in the morning.

“If you were on the first floor near what we call the 'U' hallway, you could smell it,” she said.

She said most of the students had left their cellphones in their lockers because of testing, and it was a chaotic morning.

The cause of the leak was not clear, but the source was found by district staff and was confined to the science wing of the school, according to a news release from the Woodstock Fire/Rescue District.

Fire officials still were at the scene about 3 p.m., and they said no students had shown symptoms of illness from the leak.

Gas leaks can be caused by faulty appliances, leaky pipe fittings or corroded or cracked gas pipes, according to energy company ComEd.

Classes will be held as usual Thursday, district officials said.

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