ST. MARTIN, MS (WLOX) - St. Martin High School students will return to school on Friday. Classes were canceled Thursday after a transformer failed on the first day of school, shutting down the air conditioning system. A replacement unit arrived, but as crews tried to hook it up, they encountered some glitches.
The 2,000 pound transformer was sent overnight from Tennessee. Crews immediately went to work at St. Martin High, disconnecting the failed unit and installing the new one.
"They have assured me that they will stay until it is finished today. There is always a small possibility something else could go wrong," said St. Martin Assistant Superintendent Dr. Michael Van Winkle.
A problem did crop up. Because the new transformer was a larger model, the old wires weren't long enough to hook it up. Electricians had to pull out those old wires and replace them.
Although the AC was still out in the classrooms on Thursday, that didn't stop the teachers from working.
"We wore work clothes. We understood we were going to sweat," said teacher Lynn Zimmerman.
Zimmerman said it was quite warm when school started Wednesday.
"At first, it wasn't so bad, but as class progressed, it became hotter and hotter. You felt the sweat dripping down your back," said Zimmerman.
When asked what it felt like when the air conditioning went out, freshman Juliana Heise replied, "Oh my gosh, what the heck! I mean it's crazy. Everybody was stealing fans from everybody's rooms."
Juliana and her brother made the most of their day off by helping their parents, who are teachers at the high school. They were bummed that a blown transformer disrupted their first week of school.
"I think it's terrible, because I don't think we get to do football practice today," said sophomore Tripp Heise.
"We're very anxious. Of course, we want the students in school, and I'm sure the parents want them in school. Being that we just started school, it's kind of hard to take a break right away. Obviously, we want them all back, and I'm sure they want to be back," said Van Winkle.
"I think this is just a sign that at St. Martin, we can roll with things. I think this was just a knock at the beginning, and then the rest of the year will be smooth running. That's what we're hoping," said Zimmerman.
Crews were still working on the system Thursday evening and district leaders said they were assured the AC will be up and running. Replacing the transformer will cost between $15,000 and $20,000.
Meanwhile, Van Winkle said he will recommend using October 9, as a make-up day for the high school. That date was originally on the school calendar as a teacher work day. His recommendation must be approved by the superintendent and school board.