Old Bridge Township School District
sandburg middle

Gas leaks force New Jersey district to temporarily close middle school

Jan. 9, 2023
Carl Sandburg Middle School in the Old Bridge Township district will be closed until at least Jan. 17; student will switch to remote instruction.

The Old Bridge Township (N.J.) School District has temporarily closed the Carl Sandburg Middle School campus after a series of underground gas leaks were discovered in the building.

NJ.com reports that classes at the school — which serves about 980 students in grades 6 through 8 — have been cancelled through Tuesday. Beginning Wednesday, students will switch to remote classes through at least Jan. 17.

“We had every reason to believe that this, like other gas leaks, would be repaired and school would operate normally as soon as possible,” Old Bridge Superintendent David Cittadino said. “But what we found was significant gas leaks all along the exterior lines within the building.”

Students who cannot remain home during the remote instruction period will be provided busing to and from supervised learning centers at Old Bridge High School, officials said.

District officials are bringing in portable boiler trailers to provide heat and hot water to the school, officials said. Those trailers will enable students and staff to occupy Carl Sandburg Middle School while the existing gas service lines are being replaced.

Barring any unforeseen delays, Cittadino said he expects Carl Sandburg Middle School to reopen next week after Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In the worst case scenario, he said, the return of students could be put off until the following week.

MORE: Video from Old Bridge Township district:

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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