BOE approves technology upgrade
By JUDY SHERARD
Computer glitches should be a thing of the past when Hays USD 489 students take their seats in August.
The board of education voted during a special meeting Monday night to move forward with a technology infrastructure upgrade.
The access points, wireless controller and switches will be purchased from Network Computer Solutions in Manhattan, for a total of $178,452, including installation charges and trade-in allowance.
The vote was 4-3, with board president Greg Schwartz, Lance Bickle and Danielle Lang voting against.
Bickle said he didn't doubt the upgrade is needed, but voted against the purchase because he hasn't seen a final budget.
"It just seems like we're doing the exact same thing that the previous board did," he said.
Superintendent Dean Katt said the money for the purchase was allocated in the capital outlay budget for the current year.
"It's a matter of trust, I guess, of whether you think any of us are doing our job or not, and we can put off and put off and put off, and by the time school starts, we're going to be so far behind, we're going to start just like I did in September (last year)," Katt said.
Josh Waddell said there was little progress or benefit for staff and students last year.
"This is something that seems to touch on everything," he said. "I think it's time to do something positive."
He pointed out capital outlay money can't be used to hire more teachers, nurses or staff.
Delivery of equipment is due July 9, and technology director Brian Drennon expects to have the new infrastructure in place before school starts in August.
During a second special meeting, the board unanimously approved a five-year resolution that would allow for new expenditures from the capital outlay budget.
A work session followed the two special meetings. After the work session, the board had three executive session totaling 50 minutes to discuss non-elected personnel and negotiations.