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D113A to install district-wide wireless access, issue technology RFP

LEMONT – The Lemont Bromberek District 113A Board of Education has decided to move ahead with installing wiring for its new technology system, while seeking opinions on the system as a whole.

The six present board members voted to get price quotes on installing wiring for wireless internet while issuing an RFP to determine the district's best options for the entire technology infrastructure.

The wiring would create wireless access points to all classrooms in the district. According to District Technology Director Stephen Davis, some classrooms do not have wireless access, while others have access but cannot accommodate a classroom full of students using it.

The district has already worked with Heartland Business System to come up with a proposed technology plan, which includes a cost estimate of about $1.5 million.

But board member Brian Bushnell was concerned about spending that much money without getting a second opinion on whether the technology plan was the best for the district.

"I want the value for the dollar," he said. "Even if we have to spend a little more, if we can buy a few more years, the value is significant."

Davis said Heartland gave the district two technology proposals: one based on financial value that would last four to five years and another based on high performance that would give the district an additional four to five years of service.

The district estimated that the performance proposal would cost about $1.6 million, though Superintendent Susan Birkenmaier said that number could change once they get the full proposal.

"For $100,000, it's worth looking at," said board member Al Malley.

In order to get the process started, Malley suggested taking care of the wiring before they decide on a technology plan. Davis said that the wiring should work with whichever technology plan they chose.

Davis said the process of replacing the wiring should be done during the summer because it requires pulling wires out of the ceiling in classrooms.

Birkenmaier said it is unlikely the district will finish the entire wiring process before school starts, depending on vendor availability, but that workers would find ways to not disrupt the students, such as working after school hours.

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