Ladera del Norte Elementary photo

Dear Ladera del Norte families,

We wanted to take a moment to update you on the gas leak incident that occurred on February 2nd, 2023. As you are probably aware, the school had to be evacuated at approximately 11:30 a.m., and all students and staff were transported to Farmington High School’s Scorpion Arena by bus. Reunification started at 1:30 p.m. that day, and students who typically travel home by bus or walk home were able to do so just like a regular school day.

We would like to share some important information with you about the leak and the changes that have been made to ensure the safety of our students and staff. The February 2nd evacuation was caused by a gas leak on the main gas line between the school and the portables. A suspicious odor had been reported 10 days earlier and our Plant Operations staff had been treating the odors as sewer gas. Once it was identified as natural gas, emergency services responded. Since then, the district has reviewed its processes for investigating odors and made the following changes:

  1. The reporting process for suspicious odors has been streamlined with Plant Operations staff dispatched immediately.
  2. After consulting with the Farmington Fire Department (FFD), a four-gas-sensor system is being implemented with training provided by the FFD. This sensor is similar to the one New Mexico Gas Company uses to identify specific gasses.
  3. Our processes have changed to streamline how FMS reviews and identifies odors and starts with checking the levels of possible gasses and then promptly ruling out natural gas.

While these changes and upgrades were taking place, possible gas odors were reported at the school again, and a second evacuation took place on February 22nd. Students and staff were transported to Farmington High School where reunification took place until 1:00 p.m. The students that were not picked up returned to the school at 1:00 p.m. and followed a regular school day.

We want to reassure you that the safety and security of our students and staff are our top priorities. The Farmington Fire Department and New Mexico Gas Company performed a thorough check of the school, including every room in the building, the roof, the main gas line, the meter, and the regulators. They also performed a pressure check, an appliance check, and a leak-down test. No gas was found within the building and no gas leak or loss of pressure was detected.

We appreciate your patience and understanding during these events. We know that the safety of your children is of utmost importance to you, and we want to assure you that Ladera del Norte is safe for our students and staff. Classes are continuing as scheduled, and we look forward to your continued partnership in ensuring that our school remains a safe and positive learning environment.

We would like to extend our thanks to the Farmington Fire Department, Farmington Police Department, San Juan County Office of Emergency Management, and New Mexico Gas Company for their help in keeping our students and staff safe.

For more information, please visit or call (505) 324-9840.

Farmington Municipal Schools