Hays USD 489 students and staff will have new computers next school year.
The board of education voted 5-1 to purchase Windows devices for Hays High School students, staff and the Hays High and Hays Middle School labs.
Greg Schwartz voted against the purchase, and Josh Waddell was absent.
The school district will purchase 820 student device Surface 3’s at a cost of $656 per unit, 60 staff device Surface Pro 3’s for $719 each, 60 staff keyboards for $103 each, 30 c50-30 desktops for the Hays High lab and 30 c50-30 desktops for the HMS lab.
Total cost of the devices bought through the state contract is $673,532, according to information prepared by school district staff.
“The construction itself is very, very impressive to us,” Marty Straub, Hays High principal, said of the computers.
Straub said feedback from staff and students has been favorable.
The new computers are “a good step to becoming paperless.”
After approving the purchase, the board accepted the lowest bid from the Bank of Hays for financing $373,532 at 1.24 percent with no closing cost. The district will make a down payment of $300,000 from capital outlay funds, said Tracy Kaiser, executive director of finance and support services.
Earlier, the board approved the purchase of iPad minis for students in grades K-2 and iPads for grades 3 to 5.
In other business, the board:
• Accepted a bid of $45,075 from Heartland Seating Inc. for new seats in the Hays High lecture hall. Other improvements include polishing the concrete floor, installing new carpet tiles, LED lighting and painting the house and stage.
Rusty Lindsay, buildings and grounds director, said $105,000 was budgeted for the project in capital outlay, and the actual cost will be approximately $76,000.
• Voted 5-1 to raise elementary students’ lunch prices by 5 cents, and middle school and high school students’ lunch prices by 10 cents. Schwartz voted against the increase. The increase will add $8.55 per year for elementary students and $17.10 per year for middle and high school students.
• Voted 5-1 to decrease workbook fees for all students by $25 and increase technology fees for Hays High School students by $20. Lance Bickle voted against it.
That option “would probably be the best thing to send that message that yes we’re going to try to reduce fees,” Superintendent Dean Katt said.
• Approved the three-year Kansas State Department of Education Technology Plan to be submitted to the state on a vote of 4-2. Schwartz and Bickle voted against.
• Approved a motion to continue membership in the Kansas Association of School Boards at a cost of $11,495 and $1,650 to the legal assistance fund.