William Byrd High School closed Friday for gas leak repairs

It’s the second leak that’s happened at the school so far this year, according to school officials


William Byrd High School will be closed on Friday, Jan. 19, 2024, for gas leak repairs, according to school officials.

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This comes after the facility was evacuated on Thursday.

The source of the leak was determined later on in the day and repairs will take place on Friday. Officials said classes will resume on Monday.

According to Chuck Lionberger with Roanoke County Public Schools, this isn’t the first leak that has happened at the high school this year. There was another incident on Jan. 4, as we’ve reported here.

He stated that both leaks were caused by construction activity and neither were major.

“All were minor, but, for safety, we evacuate the building as a matter of procedure,” Lionberger said. “The Jan. 4 incident was cleared within minutes. Unfortunately, yesterday’s leak initially was much harder to find and is a bit more complicated to fix, which is why we had to close the school today. Anytime we have to evacuate students, we go to a safe location. For purposes of safety, we will not reveal that information for any of our schools. The repairs are taking place on the roof.  That will not be accessible, however, I can see if some of our folks who are working with the construction company can get a photo.”

WBHS issued the following statement on social media.

We commend the WBHS and WBMS students and staff for being calm through this incident and we thank our parents for their patience and cooperation. Please watch for a message from WBHS tomorrow morning with information on when students can come to the school to pick up items that may have been left behind this afternoon.



William Byrd High School was evacuated Thursday due to a possible gas leak, according to school officials.

Roanoke County Public Schools said due to the nature of the gas leak, it will be several hours before anyone will be allowed back into the building. Students will be dismissed soon.

Officials said students will not be able to go back inside the school to retrieve their belongings, and if a student who normally drives is unable to get their keys, they will need to ride the bus or contact a parent to pick them up.

The school will dismiss buses and car riders before opening access to allow parents to pick up their kids.

All afternoon and evening activities at the school have been cancelled.

About the Authors

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.

Jazmine Otey joined the 10 News team in February 2021.

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