Okemos School District approves funding for new amenities

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By Sara Konkel
Meridian Times staff writer

The Okemos School District is on its way to having wireless routers in every useable room in the high school and two new school buses.

Okemos School District plans to purchase two new school buses to replace two buses they rented in the beginning of the year.

Okemos School District plans to purchase two new school buses to replace two buses they rented in the beginning of the year.

The Okemos Board of Education committee approved the amenities at its meeting March 24.

The committee approved the bid of $115,316.10 submitted by the Center for Business Innovation for 170 internet access devices.

Director of Media & Technology Errin Chapman said the addition is simple yet necessary.

“The project is simply to add more wireless coverage in the buildings to prepare for the one-to-one personal learning devices that are coming our way next year for the students and staff,” he said.

The devices are Wi-Fi boxes that will be fixed to the ceiling. Chapman said he plans to have all 170 devices installed before the students are out of school.

The access points have a lifetime warranty and are supposed to support up to 120 connected devices at a time.

Director of transportation Todd Sharp proposed the bid of $182,600 for two 77-passenger conventional buses submitted by Holland Bus Sales.

The new buses would replace two buses that were leased at the beginning of the school year, Sharp said.

The committee approved the bid in a unanimous vote.

Finance director Robert Clark addressed the issue of the budget for the upcoming 2014-2015 school year. He said he expects the increased expenses of the past year to carry over into next years budget.

Clark expects an increase in expenses due to the harsh winter and increased retirements.

He predicted a $60,000 increase in utilities for the 2014-2015 school year.

Chairman Steven Vagnozzi proposed that the board consider passing a resolution in support of the Classroom for Kids budget.

The board plans to vote on the resolution at the next meeting on April 14.

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