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CSUB building proactively evacuated due to gas leak, campus police say campus remains ‘100 percent safe’

California State University Bakersfield (CSUB), Bakersfield, August 23, 2021
Posted at 4:00 PM, Oct 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-13 19:09:51-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — According to a press release by California State University Bakersfield, a building on campus has been evacuated out of “an abundance of caution” following the discovery of a gas leak in the floor of the building.

The Business Development Center on the south side of campus was evacuated Thursday and students switched to online instruction after people noticed a strong odor of gas near the building. University Police Department officers investigated, then contacted SoCalGas.

According to Joe Hedges, associate vice president of Capital and Facilities Management Services at CSUB, a previous slow leak on a gas line in the same area had been found on September 30th. At that time, SoCalGas secured and capped that part of the distribution line, making it non-operational.

CSUB campus map highlighting the Business Development Center

It is unclear whether Thursday’s gas leak in the BDC is related to this previous gas leak.

According to UPD Chief Marty Williamson, the impact to the campus has been minimal. The biggest disruptions are to campus foodservices, with Panda Express on campus closing temporarily and the Runner Cafe suspending hot food service. The campus food trucks, Starbucks, and Which Wich are still operating.

“The campus is 100 percent safe, but we wanted to evacuate the building while teams from SoCalGas do their diagnostic work,” said Williamson.

Williamson estimates the BDC will be closed for at least the next 24 hours. Updates about this situation will be posted on CSUB’s official social media channels.