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Highlands School Board delays wireless upgrade vote

| Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, 6:59 a.m.

Approval of an upgrade to the wireless network at the Highlands Middle School has been delayed until February.

Highlands School Board agreed Tuesday to hold its approval in order for its members to review the proposal from Paul Hoffman, the district's information technology director.

Board member Jon Love questioned the cost of the new 3-year wireless lease. That cost was listed as $24,800 on the measure up for approval by the board. However, it did not clearly state that's the cost for each year of the three-year lease.

Hoffman said it's similar to the wireless upgrade done at the high school last year. He said that lease cost between $25,000 and $26,000 per year. The price includes all the hardware and labor needed to create a wireless network he said, and the money is included in his technology department budget.

Hoffman said he included the wireless project to stay proactive in keeping the district's systems up to date. He said the current wireless network at the middle school is 8 years old.

In two related matters, the board approved Hoffman's request to replace 14 computer-aided design machines. The cost will be about $15,200 and would be paid for out of the current technology budget, Hoffman said. He said the money will take care of about half the machines that are due to be replaced.

Also, the board approved an upgrade to the Active Directory for the district's computer system in all school buildings.

Hoffman explained that the Active Directory allows him to do things such as block someone from using an unapproved USB device on school computers or allow him to install software updates, all from one location.

As the systems exist, Hoffman said he would have to go to each building in order to do that.

The cost of that upgrade is $32,800 and is included in the technology budget.

Tom Yerace is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4675 or tyerace@tribweb.com.

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