Pawhuska High Students To Start School This Week After Delays

Monday, August 28th 2017, 9:58 pm
By: Justin Shrair

Pawhuska High School students will start the school year on Wednesday after nearly two weeks of delays. 

The delays happened because gas was leaking from two geothermal wells next to the school. 

Pre-K students through sixth grade started their classes today. 

8/28/2017 Related Story: Gas Leak Continues To Keep Some Pawhuska Students From Starting Class

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission said a system to vent that gas coming out of those geothermal wells has been installed successfully.

A multi-agency effort over the past several weeks is a welcome sign for many students waiting to start their school year.

School's been delayed since Aug. 17.

"That's what we accomplished over the weekend. We got a venting system in, and as of right now all the readings around that well site are now zero," said Matt Skinner, a spokesman for the commission.

The commission was notified of a methane gas leak coming from two geothermal wells next to the high school. There are 28 of them on site.

Skinner said the fix allows the gas to be vented above the rooftop.

"It's called passive ventilation, that's the way it's operating right now and its venting out the pipe," Skinner said.

There will be another piece of equipment installed to make sure the venting continues as planned.

"There will be an explosion-proof blower installed, but they have to be custom made for the installing so we are waiting for that to be built," Skinner said.

The process was supposed to begin Tuesday, but was delayed until Friday because of paperwork.

The the process should move quickly. In the meantime inspectors will monitor the levels. 

"To make sure everything's working fine, that will go on for a few weeks. If we have a few weeks of zero then we will we will slow down," Skinner said.

The fire marshal has now given the go-ahead for school to open, but they have not yet figured out where the gas is coming from. 

They will determine a next step once the source of the leak is found.

Two additional gas wells are to be installed next to the softball field and another off campus.