New Castle News

Schools

May 1, 2013

Gas line rupture: Police say ‘massive’ school evacuation went smoothly

NEW CASTLE — It was a scene reminiscent of the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

About 700 children left the George Washington Intermediate Elementary School and marched eight blocks to the Park Avenue tennis courts Tuesday morning after workers hit a gas line. The exodus, which included the teachers, was led by school resource officer Justin Crum of the New Castle police department.

“It was an orderly evacuation,” said Stanley Magusiak, acting superintendent of the New Castle School District.

“It was massive,” said David Joseph, New Castle’s assistant fire chief. “I was responding to the call and had to wait while wave after wave of children came down the street. I couldn’t make the turn to get to the school. But I’ll have to say, the children were very orderly.”

The city’s police and fire departments were notified at 10:45 a.m. Tuesday that an unmarked gas line had been hit as a trench was being dug and gas could be smelled inside the building.

Columbia Gas Co. and Verizon workers were also at the school, which houses children in grades four, five and six.

As the building and sewer lines were checked for possible dangerous gas buildup, Magusiak contemplated what the students would do for the remainder of the day.

Ultimately an alert was issued notifying parents that — until 12:30 p.m. — they could pick up their children at the tennis courts at Park Avenue and Mercer Street and take them home. At that point, the remaining children were taken by bus to the junior-senior high school where they were ushered to the auditorium to be excused at the end of the school day.

Magusiak noted many parents work during the day and picking up their children was not an option.

Over the weekend, Magusiak explained, work was being done on a cell phone tower at the school. The tower has been in place for five or six years.

The gas line involved feeds the generator for the cell tower, he added.

(Email: nlowry@ncnewsonline.com)

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Schools
  • Yauger.jpg Yauger’s Mercer County trial on hold

    A pending criminal trial for the former Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV executive director has been continued again in Mercer County.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Yauger.jpg Yauger now facing federal charge

    With Mercer County court proceedings pending this week, Cecelia Yauger faces federal prosecution for alleged business credit card misuse.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • school.jpg New Castle board adopts budget despite uncertainty

    The New Castle school board adopted its 2014-15 budget Monday but may have to re-open it next week. The $5.4 million budget, introduced in May, has no tax increase and will not tap into the fund balance. Taxes remain at 17.72 mills.

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Todora.jpg Board, staff bids farewell to superintendent

    Dr. Mary Todora will retire Monday from the Neshannock school district. “I remember eight and a half years ago when Dr. John Dietz (then-board president) called to tell me I got the job. I was thrilled,” Todora said at her final board meeting.

    June 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rich.jpg Vo-tech administrators get bonuses, no raises

    Lawrence County Career and Technical Center administrators will get one-time bonuses instead of raises next year. The joint operating committee approved one-year agreements that would freeze the salaries of director Leonard A. Rich and the principal, head custodian, cafeteria supervisor and computer technician.

    June 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • FrankAloi.jpg Frank Aloi: 50 years of school spirit in Ellwood City

    Frank Aloi is a true Wolverine. Aloi, who turned 73 Friday, spent the past half-century affiliated with the Ellwood City school district and its sports teams.

    June 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • FrankAloi.JPG Frank Aloi Retiring: Ellwood superintendent leaving amid budget woes

    Frank Aloi is retiring next month as Ellwood City’s superintendent of schools. Aloi, a 50-year district employee and its superintendent for nearly 12, submitted his retirement notice to the board during an executive session prior to Thursday’s meeting. His last day is July 16.

    June 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • school.jpg District mulls building sale options

    The New Castle school district is considering selling its three recently closed buildings through a sealed bid process.

    June 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Perfect.jpg Your Education: Shenango grad never missed a day

    They say nobody’s perfect. But for 13 years, Jenna DiGiammarino certainly was. When Jenna left last night’s commencement ceremonies at Shenango High School, she did so not only with a diploma in hand, but also with a flawless record of attendance dating back to Day One of kindergarten.

    June 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • 03.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Three New Castle schools close today for good

    Today is bittersweet for New Castle Area School District elementary students and teachers. Three buildings packed with history as longtime learning institutions are closing their doors for good.
     

    June 5, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Poll

The Steelers opened training camp this weekend. How do you see them faring this season?

Super Bowl
Division champs
Wild card team
Missing playoffs for a third straight year
     View Results