Lewis Hall at Iowa Western Community College has been closed for the day after a gas leak was detected near the building.
Classes scheduled to meet in Lewis Hall during the remainder of Tuesday are canceled, said Don Kohler, vice president of marketing and public relations.
“They’ve got to shut the power off to do the work,” he said.
The announcement came after students and staff had returned to the building following a brief evacuation.
The leak was first reported at about 9:20 this morning, and occupants were evacuated at about 9:30.
“Apparently, someone smelled an odor of gas, so the maintenance staff called Black Hills Energy, and they came out and did some readings,” Kohler said. “As a precaution, (the Council Bluffs Fire Department) evacuated the building. Then, they did their sweep and determined it was probably a low-level leak outside the building and some of it somehow migrated into the building.”
Students and staff were allowed to return to the building at about 9:45 while Black Hills measured gas levels outside the building. However, by 10:20, utility workers had identified a spot just north of the building where they believed a gas line was leaking. They decided to turn the power to the building off as a precaution before digging to find and repair the leak. Parents of children in the early childhood center located in part of the building were notified.