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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 9, 2021

Dr. J. Scott Smith, Superintendent of Schools, 301-475-5511, ext. 32178
Dr. Maureen Montgomery, Deputy Superintendent of Schools, 301-475-5511, ext. 32135

LEONARDTOWN, MD – Great Mills High School began an early dismissal today at 11:00 a.m.  On Wednesday, September 8, St. Mary’s County Public Schools was notified of a potential problem with natural gas lines in the Chancellor’s Run Road area.  Communications were immediately established with the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to determine any necessary response actions.  As a result of the problem with the gas lines, gas service was discontinued to a small portion of the community to include Great Mills High School. The gas lines at Great Mills High School were secured overnight to ensure safety. 

While restarting the pilot lights in the cafeteria at Great Mills High School this morning, Thursday, September 9, a residual odor developed in the school’s cafeteria. Increased ventilation was implemented in the affected spaces and, while the additional ventilation will diffuse the odor, it will not immediately eliminate it.  It was determined that this odor was not an active leak in or around Great Mills High School, but the result of purging the gas lines to restart service to the school.

As a result of the residual odor, a decision has been made to dismiss Great Mills High School.  Student drivers were dismissed beginning at 11:00 a.m., followed by bus riders.  Buses are mobilizing now and should begin transporting students home from school at approximately 12:30 p.m. The school will be providing a bagged lunch service for all students.