Gas leak causes school evacuation


Emily Barron

With students gathered on the turf, Dr. Susan Skinner made updates about the ongoing gas leak situation from the announcer’s booth. Students returned to class after about a 30 minutes of waiting on the turf for the all-clear.

Connor Rahill, Editor-in-Chief

Thursday morning, BSM faculty, staff, and students were evacuated from the building after a gas pipe was broken in an area of the school currently under construction. The gas was promptly turned off as everyone was ushered to the stadium halfway through the second period of the day.

Students, who remained masked, stayed at the turf field for half an hour as St. Louis Park firefighters checked the building for any potential safety concerns. After they were sure that the gas was clear and the school was safe to reenter, students were called back inside and returned to their daily schedule. “Following a thorough evaluation, SLP Fire gave us the all-clear to return to class,” Senior High Principal Dr. Susan Skinner said in an email to parents.

Senior Jack McLain was in his Christian Prayer class when the evacuation was issued. In the evacuation notice, students were informed that there was no immediate danger, so McLain remained calm as he left the building. He was able to deduce that a small gas leak had occurred, so he had no reason to panic. “I thought it would be a gas leak because that’s the only thing that would be fine if we stayed in the building as long as we did,” McLain said.

While students and teachers have not been specifically trained in dealing with a gas leak, BSM held fire drills in the first week of school, so students were able to evacuate smoothly. “I am so proud of the way that our students, faculty and staff cooperated with the events of this morning,” Skinner said in that same email to parents.

The broken gas pipe was on the roof of the building in an area undergoing construction. A collaborative learning space is being constructed across the hall from the Commons Cafeteria and is expected to be finished by this year’s second semester.