Superintendent expects WH schools to open Tuesday


White Hall School District Superintendent Larry Smith said Monday afternoon that he expected classes would resume Tuesday after a gas leak between neighboring White Hall High and Moody Elementary schools forced a districtwide closure on Monday.

Olivia Ross of CenterPoint Energy in Houston said that company workers discovered a leak at a meter near the high school. She described the problem as a “customer leak.”

Smith said gas was turned off at the schools, but classes would have been held Monday if the forecast hadn’t included a cold blast with possible snow. Smith said if it had been a warm day, classroom heating wouldn’t have been necessary and the schools could have functioned without hot meals being served.

WHHS and Moody have a combined enrollment of about 1,300 students.

“I don’t know if the weather somehow caused or contributed to this problem,” Smith said of the leak within a section of underground pipe along the high school’s football field. He said T&T Plumbing of White Hall had installed the piping and was making repairs.

Smith said that the district will make up the day at the end of the year with classes currently scheduled to end in the first week of June. Noting that temperatures are expected to possibly rise to the 70s today and spring begins Thursday, Smith laughed when he said he hadn’t experienced a winter like this one since residing in Wisconsin several years ago.

Ross said CenterPoint personnel would be assisting in reigniting pilot lights and activating several boilers and other heating units as soon as pipe repairs had been completed.

Ross said the leak between the schools was unrelated to a minor leak discovered several days ago along a nearby section of Dollarway Road.