Pagosa Peak Open School closes school through weekend due to carbon monoxide leak

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    Pagosa Peak Open School (PPOS) will remain closed through the weekend as the school continues to try to fix a carbon monoxide leak from a boiler located within the school.
    On April 9, PPOS School Director James Lewicki identified the leak upon entering the school that morning.
    Lewicki explained in an interview on April 9 that the leak was identified as coming from the boiler.
    In addition to the boiler leak, the school also had leaks within its gas pipes.
    As of April 10, the leak within the boiler system is still there, Lewicki noted.
    The gas leaks within the pipes were, however, solved, he noted.
    The school had no traces of carbon monoxide in it, but there are still levels of carbon monoxide within the warehouse where the boiler is located, he explained.
    “The boiler system still has a carbon monoxide leak. Until I get a zero in that system, we’re not opening,” Lewicki said.
    Lewicki could not pinpoint an exact reason as to why the boiler was leaking in the first place.
    “I don’t know enough about boilers. It’s not just, is there a hole in something that’s leaking? That’s certainly an issue, but is it running the way it should be running?” he said.
    Lewicki opted to cancel school today, April 11, and Friday, April 12, because once the leak is reportedly fixed, Lewicki noted he wants the entire system to run for five hours.
    “And then we’ll come in and go through every single nook and cranny with the monitors,” he explained further.
    Pagosa Fire Protection District Deputy Chief Karn Macht explained that the fire district was not sure what was going on with the boiler, just that it was still producing carbon monoxide.
    Macht also noted that running the system for five hours is the protocol in a situation like this because children will be in the building at some point when school reopens.
    “We want to make sure that it’s running full capacity and not producing any CO [carbon monoxide] that will give anybody any problems,” he said.
    chris@pagosasun.com