Gas leak closes new United Way pre-K in Santa Fe

October 9, 2018

A gas leak in the boiler room of the United Way of Santa Fe County pre-K school on Monterey Drive led to student and staff evacuations and temporary closure of the facility — which just celebrated its grand opening two weeks ago.

Katherine Freeman, CEO of United Way, said Monday a staff member smelled the gas leak Thursday morning and staff then “evacuated the kids immediately and sent them home. The building is not in danger, it seems to be a small leak in a well-ventilated area, but it was the right thing to do to get the kids out of there until it is all repaired.”

She said utility personnel and other professionals have been working on repairs and the school, which serves 70 students, hopes to reopen on Wednesday, though “things could change.” She said staff members have been calling parents regularly to keep them informed.

United Way paid more than $3 million to buy the 32,000-square-foot former Kaune Elementary School, which Santa Fe Public Schools closed in 2010 after moving its students to Aspen Community Magnet School as part of a consolidation.

The Kaune facility, designed by famed architect John Gaw Meem, first opened in 1949.

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