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DICKSON, Tenn. (WKRN) – Dickson County Schools were closed on Wednesday, and News 2 has received word that they will be closed again Thursday.
Like several other school systems in Middle Tennessee, they had issues with the cold temperatures.
The biggest problem was with the heating systems for some of the buildings, many of which use water heat pumps, which send hot water through pipes to heat the classrooms.
“Boilers heat water, and water runs through pipes, so if you’ve got a system that’s a looped system with water running through pipes, it’s that heat that generates the heat inside of a classroom,” explained Steve Sorrells, Director of Student Services.
“So if water freezes, and the boiler was not working, water’s going to freeze and you don’t have anything running, and even getting it back up and running, it’s going to take some time to generate that heat through the loop pipe system in order to get heat back in the classrooms,” he continued.
The time it takes to generate that heat is the reason schools are closed again Thursday. In addition, they are also waiting on a few back up parts to ensure that once the classrooms are warm, they stay that way.
“At this point, our biggest concern should be to locate parts to complete and repair to get things back up and running again. So, knowing that the time frame that would go with, it was unfortunate that we had a building that was not going to have any heat. And that resulted in a closure of all schools,” Sorrells explained.
Dickson County schools were closed today and will be closed again on Thursday primarily because of heating problems. They are getting boilers back up and running, but it takes time for the hot water pumped through the pipes to generate the heat in the classrooms.
There were also problems starting the buses in Dickson County. However, the district is taking precautions to make sure that they do when they return to school.
“We would ask bus drivers to maintain and start vehicles and make sure they will start during the cold weather. You don’t want to be surprised. For heaven’s sake we don’t want students waiting out on the side of the road waiting, or students in cold classrooms,” Storrells said.
“Those diesel engines are often very stubborn and contrary sometimes with cold weather. So there are various things that you can do to keep them warmed up and primed in order to start and keep them maintained. And of course, our concern is, that if the bus is 15-20 minutes late, then that means the students are out there often in the dark and in the cold,” he continued.
The school district has not made a decision about Friday yet, but we will let you know as soon as they do.