Schools might be slow to crank up thermostat

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Just because it's cold outside, don't assume the heat will be on inside some schools.

Richmond County parents should bundle up their children and make sure their clothing is layered, because older schools might not be quick to flip on the heat.

Schools with older heating systems might wait to turn them on despite overnight temperatures this week dipping to freezing. It takes three days to heat the thousands of gallons of water in single-loop systems and just as long to cool the water if the warm weather returns, said Benton Starks, the school system's senior director of facilities services.

"I can't change the laws of physics, no matter how much people jump up and scream," Mr. Starks said of the time involved. "I just don't have the power."

The official switch to heat isn't made until after Thanksgiving, but principals can choose to turn the heat on at their schools earlier, he said.

Each year, he sends a letter warning the schools, however, that it takes time to make the switch and that it will also take time to switch back to cooling the school.

Dan Miller, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in West Columbia, S.C., said it might be a bit early to pack away warm-weather clothing.

Although Augusta could have its first frost of the school year this morning, or more likely Thursday morning, it wouldn't be unusual for temperatures to warm up, he said.

The weather service's forecast calls for temperatures to reach about 72 degrees Saturday before turning cool again.

"There's at least the promise that temperatures could warm up to or above normal," Mr. Miller said.

Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (31) Add comment
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patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 10/29/08 - 05:56 am
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Once the schools are full of

Once the schools are full of heat producing children, they'll warm up plenty.

jackfruitpaper833
41
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jackfruitpaper833 10/29/08 - 06:38 am
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If a lot of students end up

If a lot of students end up sick, THIS will be the culprit.

White_Trash1
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White_Trash1 10/29/08 - 06:59 am
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jackfruit, did you miss the

jackfruit, did you miss the part where it says to layer the clothing so the kids can stay comfortable???

workingmom
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workingmom 10/29/08 - 07:18 am
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I believe colds, etc. are

I believe colds, etc. are caused by viruses and germs, not the weather. Someone correct me if I am wrong here.

mommie2
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mommie2 10/29/08 - 07:41 am
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This isn't anything new. 10

This isn't anything new. 10 years ago, ARC would be freezing in the winter. We all just wore jackets.

Bored in GA
2
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Bored in GA 10/29/08 - 07:43 am
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Just another bleep in the

Just another bleep in the RCBOE! Get used to it folks it won't get much better than now!

AmericanRose
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AmericanRose 10/29/08 - 07:58 am
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For those students who are

For those students who are cold natured, wear more clothing or bring a jacket. I agree, when students are in school, the building gets warmer. From what I see, students do better when they are a little cool rather than when they are hot.

juliebac
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juliebac 10/29/08 - 08:15 am
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I do believe the BOE is

I do believe the BOE is proper on this...better to wear layers than not...as said above, this is not anything new...has been in place for a while.

disssman
6
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disssman 10/29/08 - 08:41 am
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I think this is a fine idea

I think this is a fine idea as long as it applys across the RCBOE. I mean no heat at the downtown location, the garage, the proncipals offices etc, etc, etc,. As to the lie that it takes days to heat water in a boiler, I just don't buy it. Didn't we just build (in the last 10 years) a few new schools? And didn't those schools have state-of-the-art HVAC systems? In any event if RCBOE has a standing policy ( with severe penalties for failure to follow) that ensures all property will not have heat and no electrical heaters will be used, I am fine with the policy. But you and I know that the offices and teachers lounges and BOE headquarters will be heated.

RhondaAllDay365
10
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RhondaAllDay365 10/29/08 - 08:43 am
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PatriciaThomas you are just

PatriciaThomas you are just plain ignorant, even with kids. Please get a life !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

abc123xyz
0
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abc123xyz 10/29/08 - 08:50 am
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Before any of you parents

Before any of you parents complain about your child's school, why don't you go to the school IN PERSON & check it out. I have been in my kids school & not only is it warm - both their classrooms are HOT! There's definitely no chance of them getting sick from being too cold at school - unless they're outside & last time I checked, RCBE had no control over the weather. All I'm saying is, check your own personal situation before complaining - it may not be as bad as you think.

RhondaAllDay365
10
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RhondaAllDay365 10/29/08 - 09:19 am
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AugustaMomOf2 you are right

AugustaMomOf2 you are right but some people just leave stupid comments !

Casting_Fool
1174
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Casting_Fool 10/29/08 - 09:57 am
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"As to the lie that it takes

"As to the lie that it takes days to heat water in a boiler..." - Posted by disssman. You do realize that the laws of physics are the laws of physics? It does take days to heat up that much water in those boiler systems, along with all of the water that's circulating throughout all of the buildings. The article states that the "schools with older heating systems" are the ones affected, not the newer schools. It didn't hurt my kid to wear more clothing on cold days when he attended RC schools, it won't hurt students today.

lifelongresidient
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lifelongresidient 10/29/08 - 10:07 am
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you really want to know how

you really want to know how to reduce heating costs??? send all of the disruptive, disrespectful and students who don't want to learn back home, close the schools, empty out the alternative school and send them home. what you will be left with is fewer school populated with students who want to learn, and a more efficent running school district at a lower cost to the taxpayer without the unecessary "programs" and that money could be used to heat the remaining schools and probably have enuff left over to make sure every student has their own textbook for each class and the teachers have enuff school supplies without having to spend their own money

leapfrogve
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leapfrogve 10/29/08 - 10:11 am
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My problem is the fact that

My problem is the fact that the school taxes on my land are going up and yet my child has no heat in his school. What am I paying for?

karmakills123
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karmakills123 10/29/08 - 10:11 am
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LOL..facts are facts and they

LOL..facts are facts and they can not be changed just because you do not like them...it DOES take that long to heat that much water...it does take a virus to cause a cold...not weather.....that many bodies in a school will cause it to be warmer...you CAN if you care and take the time to dress your child properly for the changing weather keep your child comfortable... most of you are just looking for someone else to take care of it. Wow does that sound familiar?? ..morning comrades !!!!!

What4
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What4 10/29/08 - 10:31 am
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Hand washing is actually what

Hand washing is actually what will help to prevent colds and flu. Germs, not temperature, are the culprits. in fact, operating rooms are kept very cold for that very reason..germs grow better in warmth. The newer heating systems will probably not have the same delays as the older; unfortunately if you are at an older school, you may be inconvenienced until the real cold weather gets here.

FallingLeaves
27
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FallingLeaves 10/29/08 - 11:08 am
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Germs and viruses cause

Germs and viruses cause illness, but a person getting chilled can lower the immune system defenses and lessen their ability to fight off these germs and viruses. It's wise to be "warm enough", so layers of clothing are a good compromise, especially when children are expected to sit still and concentrate and can't move around to warm up. And hand-washing is another good line of defense. Schools that do not have soap, paper towels or hand blowers available in the bathrooms are just asking for germs to spread. Parents used to tell their children to wear their hats, scarves, gloves and warm socks for good reason, in cold weather. And if nothing else, they were to at LEAST keep their chest covered. A cold blast to the heart and lungs is not a smart way to start the day.

What4
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What4 10/29/08 - 11:13 am
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Since most of the kids ride

Since most of the kids ride the school bus and have to wait out in the cold, hopefully they will be prepared for what they face inside.

lifelongresidient
0
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lifelongresidient 10/29/08 - 12:46 pm
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if RCBOE can find or has

if RCBOE can find or has money to build football stadiums or basketball gyms for the WORST schools in the county, or pay for worthless and useless "programs" for kids that don't want to learn or are not motivated by THEIR PARENTS (who should be doing the motivating), why can't the BOE "find" the money to upgrade the heating systems for all the schools in the county. lets see, no enuff school supplies, poor teacher pay, not enuff textbooks, outdated heating/cooling systems, but useless and wastefull programs, football stadiums for hephzibah-laney, and fairly new gym for josey (built approx 2005), all consistantly failing to meet ayp, and to top it off SCHOOL SYSTEM 14-17 MILLION DOLLARS IN THE RED. gee i guse it goes to show if it has to do with learning/education then it can wait but football/basketball...then "taxpayer be damned, lets build it regardless of the cost to the property owners, we will just raise the mill rate to get it"...rich cnty will schools will soon follow clayton county..mark my words

justtired
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justtired 10/29/08 - 04:46 pm
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Ohhhhhhhh pooooooooooooor

Ohhhhhhhh pooooooooooooor leapfrogve. It's all about your taxes. Not about the rest of us. Look people face the facts, ever since the federal socialist government decided they needed to rule over every community we have seen education levels decline and taxes go up. You are simply being readied for the next four years of more of "what can the government do for me?" And whose income can we steal to make it so. You people amaze me really. The Stepford People... All of you. You are pathetic! The children will not die or come away with any dread disease if the temp is a bit on the lower side and yes their presence alone will substantially aid in warming the building. If you can't understand that, take a HVAC class. Finally, if the buildings are bit cooler rather than warmer, germs and other nasty's have less opportunity to propagate. I mean look at these building folks. No windows to speak of, oh my we don't want fresh air to reach our tender kiddies. I travel a lot and when I pass through communities in Georgia and SC the only way to distinguish a "correctional institute" from a school is to look for the sign out front. The architecture is the same or haven't you noticed?

irishgent
18
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irishgent 10/29/08 - 04:49 pm
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i bet the richmond county

i bet the richmond county jails already have heat!!!!!!!!!!

workingmom
0
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workingmom 10/29/08 - 05:05 pm
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leapfrogve, do you have any

leapfrogve, do you have any idea how much it costs to operate a school system? Price a textbook or piece of classroom furniture and that will give you a tiny window into the cost. Thank goodness the temperature warmed up today so it spared the children from becoming ill. What do the people up north or in the mountains do when it's cold outside? Do children go outside to play anymore?

disssman
6
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disssman 10/29/08 - 07:10 pm
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castingfool. You obviously

castingfool. You obviously aren't familiar with boilers or you would know you are talking about boilers made in 1700. And I am sure they aren't using a match to heat with. I am sure glad to hear you are more concerned wiith the heating of the BOE offices than your kids. You must be a real role model for them. I remember when I was stationed at Ft G and we had coal fired boilers for showers for over 200 men. On the coldest winter day it took about 2 hours to heat the water so they could shower and shave, which is a lot more than a closed boiler system.

MaryPlayer
0
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MaryPlayer 10/29/08 - 08:29 pm
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Gee whiz! All of this

Gee whiz! All of this nonsense over a public service announcement. Maybe Mr. Starks should have kept this information to himself. Let the little namby pambys whine to their parents about being cold. Just think, now they have an excuse for not passing those tests, it was too cold to pay attention in class. Jeeze what a bunch of whinners, and yep that's one letter away from winners.

FallingLeaves
27
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FallingLeaves 10/29/08 - 11:46 pm
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The word is whiners, not

The word is whiners, not whinners.

Casting_Fool
1174
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Casting_Fool 10/30/08 - 12:02 am
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Hmm... so the little bitty

Hmm... so the little bitty boiler that was used to heat shower and shaving water for 200 men compares to the large single-loop system boiler(s) used to heat water for an entire school complex? I think not. What you described sounds like a large hot water heater, not a unit capable of circulating hot water throughout an entire building. They are two completely different things. And I've worked in maintenance on and off for over 30 years. In hospitals, schools, and small communities. And FYI, three of my kids are dead and the remaining one is in college after having gone through the RC school system. I'm not sure if I've been a good role model for the surviving kid, but as a single widower parent I've tried my best.

PTHS2
0
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PTHS2 10/30/08 - 02:43 am
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dissman - you just showed

dissman - you just showed your bottom and it isn't pretty

As It Is
2
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As It Is 10/30/08 - 03:42 am
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Jisomjr - You are very

Jisomjr - You are very correct in all that you stated. However, many of these students are receiving their last chance at costing the tax payers $6,000 per year for an education to instead costing us $30,000 per year to keep them incarcerated. It is a necessary evil to have alternative schools, etc. but we also should greatly change the discipline (or lack thereof) in our schools. Unfortunately with the liberals and trial lawyers, not much will change for the better and we will continue to enable the little darlings until they are on welfare and living in section 8 housing or in jail if they don't want to take advantage of a free education and better theirself.

leapfrogve
0
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leapfrogve 10/30/08 - 09:35 am
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The whole point is that if

The whole point is that if the school system can afford new stadiums, big bonuses etc. then why is that the schools are still operating on old heating and cooling systems? It's the same systems that were being used when I attended these schools and I remember it being cold during class. And as far as the cost of operating these school ( hello "justtired" ) the parents are responsible for supplying most of the kids supplies, the teachers are alloted so much copy paper, ink, etc. so the teachers have to buy supplies out of their pockets, and some of the desks and books are older then some of the teachers. Where is the money going if not to update the schools?

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