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University Academy evacuated, classes canceled due to freon leak

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- More than a thousand students evacuated University Academy Monday after sensors detected a freon leak in their building.

Administrators at the school, located at 68th Street and Holmes Road, quickly decided to cancel classes for the day.

"We thought we were coming in here to have a normal day of school," said Tony Kline, University Academy superintendent. "Obviously we had to make the decision to cancel school at 7:35 a.m. is pretty tough. Hard on families too, but they have been great. They have come back and have been really supportive. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, make sure you get these things right."

Alarms sounded throughout the school at about 7:30 a.m., just as students were entering the building.

Firefighters rushed to the charter school and determined that freon was leaking from the building's cooling system.

The gas can make you sick if you breathe too much of it, so all of the kids in this kindergarten through 12th grade school evacuated outside to the football field.

The school notified parents and buses returned to bring students home, because the repair work on the system is expected to take much of the day.

"This school is amazing with the kids," said Shaya Duncan, as she picked up her 11-year-old son. "They take care of them. Everything, they did everything they should have. They alerted parents immediately and I got right back up here."

Some parents may have to take time off of work to watch their children, but classes are expected to resume Tuesday.

This is a fairly new building -- only 12 years old -- and nothing like this has ever happened here previously.

With the solar eclipse coming next week, administrators are concerned about losing two consecutive Mondays to disruptions. But the charter school says kids returned to classes last week eager to learn.