Replacing outdated computers is near for Lansing School District

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By: David Defever

LANSING – The Lansing School District is certain it will buy refurbished computers rather than repair damaged ones to improve student learning.

Purchasing refurbished computers is a good way to supplement the desktops already in the school district, said Joan Sawyer, the district’s interim director of technology.

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Photo by: David Defever

On Feb. 14, Lansing School Board of Education reviewed multiple bid recommendations from three different companies that distribute refurbished computers.

Companies that made bids were Hi-Tech Service Systems, Computer Dealers Incorporated and School Tech Supply.  The district is looking to get 100 refurbished computers to be distributed throughout the schools.

Hi-Tech Service Systems bid $34,800 and Computer Dealers Inc. bid $41,206.  School Tech Supply also made a bid, but didn’t meet the districts specifications according to Sawyer.

Hi-Tech Service Systems was considered the best opportunity because it would save more than $350 per computer.

Some of the schools have dated equipment and repairing the computers would cost $770 a piece, which is expensive, Sawyer said.  These refurbished computers are a low cost alternative for buildings with high needs. The product meets the current bid specifications for new desktops with a comparable warranty.

Providing this option would meet the tech readiness requirements for online assessments.

“The most recent upcoming assessment will be the Michigan Education Assessment Program Social Studies Pilot,” said Yvonne Caamal Canul, superintendent of Lansing school district.

“Since this is the first time we’ve done this, we wanted to start small,” Sawyer said.

The Building and Department Funds from 2012-2013, including grant funds, would provide funding for the computers.

No money is required up front and computers can be purchased at a fixed rate, said Peter Spadafore, secretary of the Lansing Board of Education.

The computers for the current bid are Dell and HP desktops with 4GB memory that could be updated.

“These computers will last quite some time, they are far ahead of the computers that we have in our science and computer labs,” Sawyer said.  “They’re going to be able to run any type of program that we need for a foreseeable future.”

Since the bid is more than $23,000 the board must pass the recommendation before moving forward.  But, it seems that money won’t be an issue.

“I definitely think that we will follow through with this,” Canul said.

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