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Local News

Joliet D-204 plans $1.2M project for new Wi-Fi network

JOLIET – The Joliet Township High School District 204 board has approved a $1.2 million project for network cabling district-wide. 

In a 6-0 vote Tuesday, the board approved a bid from Peak Electric for a project that will install Ethernet and fiber cabling for classrooms, labs, offices and common areas for direct devices, cameras and wireless connections at Central, West and alternate schools. The project will also involve removing the existing network. 

Board member R. Dale Evans was not in attendance, stated Kristine Schlismann, the district’s spokeswoman, in an email. 

In a memo, Ilandus Hampton, assistant superintendent for business services, stated the project will be the next step of the district’s strategy to upgrade its technology infrastructure. 

“The majority of the installation will be completed this summer in preparations for a cut over to the new network the following summer after the additional phases of the project are completed,” Hampton stated. 

While the project is $1.2 million, Hampton stated the district has applied for $725,420 in E-rate funding, or federal funding that makes telecommunication and information services more affordable for schools and libraries. 

The remaining $488,555 for the project will be budgeted over a three-year period, Hampton said. 

Peak Electric was one of three companies that provided bids for the work. The other bidders were Applied Communications and CDWG/TNS.

Applied Communications made the lowest bid at about $890,687 for the project, but Hampton stated it did not meet the qualifications. 

The company had limited project implementation strategies, did not discuss or present project or work documentation, provided no details regarding E-rate documentation, did not respond in a timely manner to questions and meetings, and lacked quality references, according to the memo. 

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