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Oklahoma City Public Schools will spend $1 million to put carbon monoxide detectors in every building, classroom

Oklahoma City Public Schools will spend $1 million to equip every building and classroom in the district with carbon monoxide detectors, officials said Friday.
by Tim Willert Modified: April 19, 2014 at 10:00 am •  Published: April 19, 2014
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Oklahoma City Public Schools will spend $1 million to equip every building and classroom in the district with carbon monoxide detectors, officials said Friday.

In November, a gas leak sent three Lee Elementary students and three staff members to local hospitals after people began complaining of dizziness, nausea and stinging eyes. All were treated and released.

Oklahoma Natural Gas and Oklahoma City Fire Department officials confirmed the presence of carbon monoxide.

The school in southwest Oklahoma City was evacuated and closed for a day so workers could replace a newly installed rooftop heating unit responsible for the leak.

In the days after the leak, officials outlined plans to put detectors in each of the district’s 2,500 classrooms.

“The incident at Lee Elementary served as a great example of how important installing these detectors is in improving the safety in our schools,” said Rod McKinley, chief of human resources. “This is an added layer of protection for our students and staff.”

“There will be a detector anywhere we have combustion gas, including rooftop units and boiler rooms,” spokeswoman Tierney Tinnin said. “We have about 3,000 rooftop units.”

The district, Tinnin said, has selected Johnson Controls and Siemens to install more than 6,000 detectors. The device will signal maintenance and turn the unit off.

No timeline was given for the project’s completion, she said.

State law does not require the safeguards in schools.

by Tim Willert
Education Reporter
Tim Willert is a native Californian with Oklahoma ties who covers education. Prior to moving to Oklahoma in June 2011, he was as an editor for FOXSports.com in Century City, Calif., and reported on courts for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and...
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