Old Center Elementary relocation continues following natural gas discovery

Students are still reporting to a temporary site at Goodlettsville Elementary until the gas issue is resolved.
Students were moved to Goodlettsville Elementary because of the gas issue and will return there on Wednesday.
Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 6:56 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 18, 2023 at 8:06 AM CDT
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GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - All students and staff at Old Center Elementary were relocated to another school last Tuesday due to a contractor opening up a methane gas pocket on campus.

According to a spokesperson with Metro Nashville Public Schools, all educational activities at Old Center Elementary were relocated to Goodlettsville Elementary until the situation was resolved. The schools are roughly 2.5 miles from each other on Dickerson Pike.

On Tuesday evening, MNPS announced the relocation would continue as the Nashville Fire Department had yet to clear a building on Old Center’s campus. The situation continues to be monitored as the school board awaits updates from NFD. As of Monday, September 18, NFD has yet to clear the building at Old Center and students continue to report to their temporary location.

MNPS said it is unable to project precisely how long it would take for the methane gas pocked to be completely empty. It could take anywhere from hours to a few days, and MNPS will provide information directly to parents as the situation progresses.

“I’m glad they found it pretty early and had an action plan to get the students to a different, safer location,” Old Center parent, Dante Ewing said. “I’m anxious for it to definitely be solved as long as it needs to take.”

According to the MNPS, a contractor was drilling wells for geothermal heating and cooling near the campus on Monday when a pocket of methane gas was breached, resulting in the release of gas from the well.

Although initial testing brought back no detectable gas at the school’s main building, overnight testing forced the Nashville Fire Department to request the campus be closed until the gas leak could be resolved.

The transportation and relocation will continue to follow these procedures:

  1. Bus Riders: Old Center students who rely on bus transportation will be automatically rerouted to the temporary location at Goodlettsville Elementary.
  2. Walkers: Students who typically walk to Old Center Elementary are asked to assemble at the Greenwood Cemetery across the street. Transportation will be provided to Goodlettsville Elementary.
  3. Parent Drop-off: Parents who usually drop off their students at Old Center Elementary should plan to take their children to the new temporary location at Goodlettsville Elementary.
  4. Staff Relocation: All staff members at Old Center Elementary are instructed to report to their new temporary workplace at Goodlettsville Elementary.
A contractor was drilling wells for geothermal heating and cooling near the campus on Monday when a pocket of methane gas was breached.

MNPS and Nashville Fire still expect the situation to be resolved soon to allow normal operations to resume at Old Center Elementary.

MNPS students did not have to report to class last Thursday, September 14, due to the election.