LEMONT – The Lemont-Bromberek Combined School District 113A Board of Education unanimously passed a $750,578 technology upgrade plan with Sentinel Technologies, Inc. during its Dec. 18 meeting.
The district also received an Illinois State Board of Education School Technology Revolving Loan for $365,550 to purchase computers for staff and students, according to Assistant Superintendent Mary Gricus.
The upgrades, which are scheduled to be completed before the beginning of next school year, will allow for increased wireless access in the classrooms, according to district technology director Stephen Davis.
Davis said the network will have 10 GB bandwith, which would be capable of handling every student using wireless.
The new network should also be more reliable, with more safeguards against system failure, he said.
The final proposal included $94,000 more in upgrades than the initial proposal, such as an improved email spam filter, a new wireless security system and new fiberoptic cabling.
Board member Patrick Kerrigan, who represented the board when Sentinel made its second proposal, said the need for the upgrades is immediate.
"With the spam filter, we're having issues on a regular basis with that," he said "It's consistently broken, so we need to fix it."
Regarding the fiberoptics, the new cables will be able to fully utilize the system's 10 GB switches, Kerrigan said. The currently cables are only meant to handle 1 GB.
"Think of it as plumbing," he said. "You need to have enough flow through the drain to have enough traffic."
Davis said the fiberoptics will give the district the ability to further upgrade its network in the future.
The wireless security system is something the district will need when it starts using its new computers, Kerrigan said.
According to the meeting agenda, the district has allotted $359,098 for technology upgrades in 2013-14.
To finance the project, the district received a preliminary pricing on a three year lease for a $650,000 expenditure that would include an annual payment of about $228,000, according to Business Manager Barbara Germany.
Breaking down the cost
After District 113A made a Request for Proposal on the technology upgrade project, Sentinel Technologies, Inc. came back with some additional upgrades to its initial $654,858 proposal.
The costs added on to the original proposal include:
• $20,277 for a CIPAFilter to block spam emails
• $36,633 for a Cisco Identity Services Engine wireless security system
• $38,810 to upgrade the fiberoptic cables