|Greenback Public School
400 Chilhowee Ave.
Greenback, TN 37742
Parents, Community Members and Stake Holders:
I understand that you are beyond frustration, as I am. I want you to know what happened today. Around 9:30 a teacher reported a smell of gas in her room. I called Ronnie Lett, and after investigation, he ordered the evacuation of 7 classrooms that adjoined the court yard because there was gas being leaked into the court yard. We moved the students to the gym until it was safe to re-enter. Then in the afternoon the fire alarm went off. It is unclear if it was a malfunction or if someone pulled the alarm, but we will continue to find out what happened to the alarm.
I donít know what to tell you about the changes for the positive on the way of a building program other than to tell you to contact your elected officials. This is the only way to make your voice known and let them know that your support depends on what they will do for our new school. I can assure you that we have done our best to convince county commission and school board that our students need another school. I want to make sure that you are all kept current on the information at the school, especially when it pertains to the safety of your children. I want to reinforce that we are doing all we can at the school level to keep your childís safety as our top priority.
The county is contracting the services of an independent mechanical engineer to check every pipe, heater, and valve in the school for leaks or repair issues. Chief Lett of the Greenback Fire Department has been contracted by the county to check all areas of the school 2-3 times per day for leaks and air quality. Most of these issues are with the contractor the county hired to convert our school from propane to natural gas. The services that they have provided have left the problems that we are experiencing. Todayís issues is with the same heater that they had trouble with the last time, and I know that Lisa Russell is going to call into question why are we still using this company at the next board meeting.
I want you to know that neither the school nor any of its staff have anything to do with these problems. When the teachers or students tell me of any suspicious smells, I always check them out with my vice principal, SRO, head custodian, and Chief Lett. I can tell you that todayís evacuation was for a very small amount of gas, but we will always err on the side of caution. Chief Lett also checked the students in the affected area with the gas meter as a precaution. The incident began yesterday and students in the affected area were checked as a precaution by medical staff. I was not in the building in time to get information out or I would have sent this letter yesterday.
I want to reassure you that although our facility is not perfect we are doing everything in our power to ensure your childís safety. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to call me at the school 856-3028 or email me.