One wing at Hutchings Career Center still looks like a regular high school, but with a few adjustments, it becomes an alternative school.
"This year, the focus is on those students that are having difficulties in general education schools, and those difficulties are discipline," said deputy Superintendent of Student Affairs Ed Judie.
He says the school work is as rigorous as any other school, but the rules are tougher, and students and teachers have to wear uniforms.
"You can only wear black or white tennis shoes, you can only wear black or brown belts, you will not sag. We will tell parents as we told them the other night that this is the last hope for their children in Bibb County public schools if they don't follow the rules and regulations," said Judie.
As part of that zero tolerance policy, the alternative high school will have metal detectors.
David Gowan, director of risk management, says they installed special doors to keep alternative and regular school students separated.
"Hutchings Career students would not have an opportunity to come open this door and have access to the alternative school site," he said. "So they would have to be let in which there would really be no reason to let them in here."
But it's a fire exit, so someone could open it form the alternative school side, but there's a catch.
"If I had to press this bar, it would not allow me to immediately open the door," he said as he demonstrated on one of the exits in the hallway.
Pushing the handle sets off a buzzer, but after 15 seconds, the door opens. Gowan says it buys time for a teacher to make sure there's a real threat. The district also has hall monitors and campus police on site. Judie says the strict measures are only half of the equation.
"For those children that are not only a detriment to themselves but are also a detriment to others and may have some mental health issues that we need to walk them through so they can be successful," said Judie.
The school will offer services like counseling and other services students might need. A student could return to regular school after each quarter, but they'd have to show progress in behavior, academic, attendance, and other areas.
"We want our children that are doing the right thing to have the safety that's required our teachers that are providing education should be able to provide that without a lot of disruption from kids that have made bad choices."
He says that's a refrain they've heard from the public loud and clear.