Kennedy Elementary closed today; suspected natural gas leak determined to be sewer gas

Updated at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday

Kennedy Elementary School in eastern Lawrence is closed today because of a suspected natural gas leak that turned out to be sewer gas, according to a district official.

A staff member at Kennedy on Monday night reported a gas smell at the building, district spokeswoman Julie Boyle said via email on Tuesday morning. Crews with the gas company responded to the scene and were initially unable to determine the source of the supposed gas leak. But later Tuesday morning, Monique Pope, a spokeswoman for Black Hills Energy, said that the company had determined that the odor was caused by sewer gas, not natural gas.

Natural gas service to the building had been turned off Monday evening, and the school building was then without heat. Pope said about 9:30 Tuesday morning that the gas and heat were back on.

School district facilities staff were following up Tuesday by inspecting plumbing fixtures, Boyle said. Kennedy school will be in session as scheduled on Wednesday.

Kennedy Elementary is at 1605 Davis Road, or essentially along Harper Street across from the Douglas County Fairgrounds.


Welcome to the new Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.