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WHEN THE SCHOOL WAS BUILT IN 1932, IT WAS BUILT ON SLOPING GROUND FROM 3 FT. TO 6 FT. AND CONTAINING SOME 64,000 CU. FT. OF DEAD AIR SPACE. THE ORIGINAL PLANS CALLED FOR A BOILER AND STEAM HEAT SYSTEMS, BUT AGAINST THE WISHES OF THE ARCHITECTS, THE BOARD DECIDED TO INSTALL 72 INDIVIDUAL GAS-STEAM HEATERS TO HEAT THE BUILDING. THE PLANS WERE NEVER ADAPTED TO INSTALL PROPER VENTILATION IN THE BASEMENT AREA, WHICH CONTAINED ALL GAS PIPING AND ELECTRICAL LINES. THERE WAS ONE 4X4 DOOR ON THE SOUTH THAT WENT INTO THE BASEMENT WHICH WAS KEPT CLOSED AND ONE IN THE SHOP WAS LEFT OPEN. THIS IS WHERE LUMBER WAS STORED THAT WAS USED IN THE SHOP.
THE NATURAL GAS WAS SUPPLIED BY UNITED GAS CO. UNTIL JANUARY 18, 1937. A DECISION HAD BEEN MADE BY THE SCHOOL BOARD TO HOOK-UP TO A RESIDUE LINE OF THE PARADE GASOLINE CO. GAS AT THAT TIME WAS A BY-PRODUCT AND BURNED OFF IN FLARES AND IT WAS COMMON PRACTICE FOR CHURCHES, SCHOOLS AND HOMES TO TAP INTO THESE LINES, ALTHOUGH THE COMPANIES HAD NO AUTHORITY TO SELL THIS GAS AND BECAUSE OF LIABILITY COULD NOT GIVE PERMISSION TO HOOK-UP TO THEIR LINES, IT WAS GENERAL RULE THAT THEY WERE WILLING TO LOOK THE OTHER WAY UNTIL THE CONNECTION WAS MADE. THIS GAS WAS RESIDUE GAS AND NOT RAW GAS. ALSO, AT THIS TIME THE UNITED GAS AND THE FIELD GAS WERE ODERLESS.