Outside utility work sends Holden Elementary students home for more than a school week

Outside utility work sends Holden Elementary students home for more than a school week
Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 7:01 PM EDT
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LOGAN COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Students at Holden Elementary School have not been in the classroom for more than a school week.

District officials said utility work in the city of Holden triggered the decision.

“There were gas lines that were placed in that community and as the gas lines were being replaced, people notice the smell of gas in the school and near the school,” Logan County District Spokesman Chris Williams said Thursday. “Once the smell of gas was noticed in the school, students were moved to do learning, learn from home, teacher sent home packets, and things like that.”

For Brad Furrow, a parent of two students at the school, the situation has reminded him of learning during the height of the COVID pandemic.

“The pandemic was definitely no fun. It wasn’t great having to work full time to homeschooling but I wasn’t expecting to do that again,” he said. “The days that we told them they don’t have school the next day they’ve been actually very upset they haven’t been able to see their friends and teachers.”

The school district said multiple agencies have been monitoring the school to run carbon monoxide tests and check the air quality.

No gas leak had ever been found in the school, a relief to parents like Furrow.

“The health and safety of all of our kids, not just mine is number one,” he said. “A close second is their education, which is also important but in a situation like this you have to find a good balance between the two.”

A final round of tests had been scheduled Thursday. According to the district, if those results come back favorable, students could be back in the classroom as soon as Friday.