PENDLETON -- When Pendleton Heights High School students and staff return from summer break in August, faster Internet speeds necessary to power the latest computer technology will be there to greet them.
The South Madison Community Schools Board of Trustees recently approved a new five-year contract to install more and faster wireless routers throughout the building at a cost of $28,000 per year.
Business Manager Ken McCarty told board members that some staff have experienced connection problems with older, slower and more widely dispersed routers currently in use.
“We really think this is the first step to improving the technology that we have.”
Board member Joel Sandefur said South Madison Schools has embraced technology as a critical element in providing a quality education to students.
“To make the endeavor successful, we should not skimp,” he said. “We should not have to worry about whether the technology will work.”
While the school district didn’t exactly skimp, said Director of Technology Ryan Watts, it did buy middle-priced equipment, which has not been able to keep up with technological advances.
That isn’t the case under the lease agreement the board approved. High-speed routers -- 120 of them -- will be installed in each classroom as well as many other school offices and student spaces.
Watt said his staff will install the new equipment, which includes new hardware and 7.5 miles of new cable to tie it all together. The work should take about two months to complete.
The board also agreed to hire Indianapolis-based Renascent Inc. to demolish the old high school building at a cost of $118,000.
Built in 1936, the building has not been used since 2009.
Interior demolition and salvage work can begin immediately, McCarty said. Razing the exterior structure will begin after the current school year concludes on June 2.
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