Gas leak delays start of school in Greenback

GREENBACK (WATE) - Students at Greenback School began the day on the football field Monday because of a gas leak in the school.

Greenback School officials say the small leak happened over the weekend. Fumes spread through the building by way of the school's ventilation system.

"The area that was leaking this morning was outside the school, outside the cafeteria, and it was evident that we needed to go back and reseal that pipe and make sure that it was painted. So it was taken care of. For the future, it's one of the precautionary measures we can take to make sure we have everything taken care of," said Loudon County Director of Schools Jason Vance.

According to a Loudon County dispatcher, the amount of gas remaining in the building Monday was not enough to register on sensors, but the students were kept out as a precaution.

After waiting about an hour the all clear was given and students were allowed to enter the building.

Administrators say numerous gas detectors are placed throughout the aging school building because leaks happen regularly. The say the leaks are something they just have to deal with.

Monday's leak was the first of the school year. Several leaks occurred last year, which forced disruptions in classroom instruction.

The numerous problems in the school, including a sewer line break in 2007, have prompted complaints by parents for a number of years.

Loudon County commissioners voted in June to increase property taxes to fund the construction of new schools.