Hundreds of Williamson County students got an unexpected day off from class Monday due, in part, to the cold weather.
Students at Page Middle and Page High School were evacuated around 8:30 a.m. after a strong odor of gas in the area.
"We just sort of sat down for a while, then they're like, 'hey, everyone we're going to evacuate,'" said Stephanie Vaughan, a senior at Page High.
Williamson County Director of Schools Dr. Mike Looney said principals at both schools called the district about the smell of gas in the air. As the maintenance staff tried to find the source of the smell, the district started to evacuate nearly 1,700 students.
Buses brought students to the Williamson County Ag Expo Park.
"It's kind of been a blessing. We got to test our evacuation plan today, and that went well. And we also have identified some leaks in our system that need to be addressed immediately," Looney said.
The smell led gas company crews to a few small leaks inside the schools' equipment.
"Because of the cold snap, we had to put into service some idle gas lines to provide the gas that they needed to keep things warm. The odorant we put in the system had been sitting in those lines that were idle and it had collected," said Denise Manning, a spokeswoman for Atmos Energy.
Meanwhile, many parents stopped by the Ag Park to pick up their students.
"They're handling it apparently, and they've got the students safety at the best interest and doing what they have to do," said parent Lori Callicoat.
Looney said they have regular maintenance checks in Williamson County schools, but once the problem at Page Middle School and Page High is resolved, just to be on the safe side, he plans to have maintenance teams look at other schools in the district.
District leaders said they have no reason to believe that children were in danger but followed safety protocols.
A district spokeswoman said the buildings were given the all clear and classes will be in session at the normal time on Tuesday.
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