Twiggs County schools to start August 31st | News
There is an ever-present buzzing noise at certain parts of Twiggs County's Middle-High school complex.
It may not be music to everyone's ears, but at that school, the low hum is the sound of progress.
"It's a complete HVAC renovation. We've pretty much taken the whole system completely out," Mike Harnage with Parrish Construction explains.
The company has replaced it with a new $1.5 million heating and cooling system funded in part through a penny sales tax.
"We started in mid-March and we'll finish up in about two more weeks, right before school starts," he said.
Twiggs Superintendent Elgin Dixon says the upgrades will make the school day more comfortable than the previous 24-year-old system allowed.
"They will be cool when it is hot and warm when it is cold," he said.
But the August 31st start date means a shorter school year and a longer school day. It will be extended by about half an hour.
"This will be a part of our regular instructional day," he said.
And one break is now gone.
"We did away with our fall break because we're starting school so late, but we have the traditional week at Thanksgiving. We have the traditional two weeks at Christmas. We have a four-day winter break, a full week for spring break and we will get out before the end of May," he said.
Dixon says the new system-- complete with new boilers, a new ceiling , exhaust fans and insulation-- will allow the school's energy bill to drop by an estimated 12 to 15 percent.
As for those who will now be giving extended lessons every day?
"We will do some surveys throughout the year to see how the teachers think it's going with the extended day. Who knows? It may be an option for the future," he said.
The late start doesn't come as a surprise. Dixon says parents and students were notified of the calendar change by letter this spring.
The Twiggs County Board of education also noted the adjustment on the district's website.