FORT VALLEY -- A systemwide construction project will push the start of school back two weeks later than expected for Peach County students.
Board members decided unanimously to postpone the start of the 2012-13 school year to Sept. 4 Tuesday after hearing a report from Jimmy Williams of Dublin Construction, which is over the district’s current $8 million HVAC project funded by special purpose local option sales tax funds.
Delaying the start of school from the initial Aug. 13 date, could save the district $75,000 in overtime costs paid to subcontractors working seven days a week, Williams said. Even with the change, construction will continue Monday through Saturday, he said.
“It’s an extreme challenge to even consider that this could be completed in 70 days,” Williams said of the initial time table. “Ideally it’s a five-month process.”
Pushing the school system’s start date back now allows workers 100 days for the project.
Williams also assured board members the later start date would make it more realistic that construction would be completed when students returned to school, cutting down risks that arise when students and construction zones are mixed.
“I would prefer to have as much, if not all of the construction done before kids come back into the system,” said board member Robert Hammack before the vote.
Board member Virginia Dixon agreed, saying “kids come first.”
The district already sent its 2012-13 calendar to the state Department of Education, Denning said, so school officials will need to contact state officials to make the change.
District officials will need to work the two lost weeks into other parts of the calendar. Tentatively, Denning placed the graduation date at May 31, 2013.
Tentative budget approved
Peach County board members reviewed a tentative budget Tuesday for the upcoming fiscal year.
“This has been a long work in progress,” said finance director Susan Perry. “We began this back in the winter when we were looking to decide on four days versus five days.”
Board members voted in March to return the district to a tradition five-day school week after three years of operating on a four-day week.
Perry presented a budget with a total expected revenue of $39.8 million and expenditures of the same amount.
“We tried to keep things as tight as possible,” Perry said. “Not add anything extra, but keep it as tight as possible where we’ll be able to operate.”
The tentative budget will be tabled and posted for advertisement for two weeks, per law, and board members intend to approve a budget during a June 28 called meeting.
The state requires budgets be submitted by June 30 for the 2013 fiscal year beginning July 1.
To contact writer Caryn Grant, call 256-9751.