ELKO -- The GBC Elko campus experienced a natural gas leak Thursday that kept some buildings and classrooms closed Friday morning.
Southwest Gas located the broken gas line and installed a replacement, according to an announcement from GBC.
“Southwest Gas and GBC Maintenance are checking each area to ensure gas service is restored to each building, classrooms in the Greenhaw Technical Arts building, Lundberg Hall, and Welding and Diesel labs,” said the announcement.
As of 5 a.m. Friday, the buildings remained closed.
Pat Anderson, director of environmental health, safety and security, said Southwest Gas updated her at 11:15 a.m. Friday and at this point “they saw no problem with being open Monday.”
Anderson explained that the air around the soil is being tested by Southwest Gas every one to two hours to see if the levels of natural gas have lowered, and the company was aerating the soil in the area.
On Friday morning, “the in-ground gas levels were still very high,” said GBC in the statement.
“They are lowering, but they are not low enough to allow people back into the buildings,” Anderson said. “We don’t want people exposed to respiratory distress.”
The cause of the leak was determined to be age, said Anderson, adding that the pipe was about 30 years old. Lundberg is the oldest building on the GBC campus, constructed in the early 1970s.
Classes and offices in Greenhaw and Lundberg were relocated except for the science, diesel and welding labs in Lundberg, Anderson said.
“We’ve relocated the best we can,” Anderson said, “but we can’t relocate the labs.”
Business, science and media offices are also located within the two buildings.
Anderson credited Southwest Gas for their quick response and “hard work” since the incident was first reported on March 8.
“I can’t praise Southwest Gas enough,” Anderson said. “They’ve had employees on-site all night taking shifts to flush the fumes out.”
All other buildings are unaffected and were open for classes and campus use as normal. For more information and updates, visit www.gbcnv.edu.