The odor of gas outside the front door of Center School caused the evacuation of students to the field behind the school on Friday, December 10. The Hopkinton Fire Department responded and after approximately ten minutes, students and faculty were allowed back into the gym to await further instruction.
According to Fire Chief Ken Clark, the source of the gas odor was residual from gas being released somewhere else in the area, but did not originate from Center School. As of today, the source of the gas odor has yet to be determined.
According to Center School Principal Jen Parsons, the school's crisis team was proactive in keeping the students and staff safe in the gym. At the same time, the team also made alternate plans in the event that the premises did need to be evacuated. Also reporting and supporting the effort were Police Chief Rick Flannery, School Resource Officer Phil Powers, Director of Building and Grounds Al Rogers, Dr. Phelan and Dr. Columbo.
While in the gym, students were kept entertained by music teacher Wendy Moran, who, according to Parson, spontaneously began a school-wide sing-along..
"While we never enjoy situations such as this, because of the attention we pay as a District to safety planning, we are fully prepared," said Parson. "The quick response that we had to the current issue, and in previous issues over the years, is unparalleled."