Bellwood D88 To Spend $2.5M On Technology Improvements

Wednesday, August 1, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

Featured image: Bellwood District 88’s administration building at 640 Eastern Ave. in Bellwood. | Google Maps 

During a special meeting on July 30, the Bellwood District 88 school board unanimously approved a $2.5 million IT infrastructure project.

The project, which will start during the 2018-19 school year and could take up to nine months to complete, will be paid for through a five-year financing agreement with Key Government Finance Inc. — a Colorado-based company.

According to its website, Key “makes competitive equipment and innovative technology possible for educational institutions despite capital restraints.”

District 88 officials said that Key was selected from among a pool of three possible financing companies. They added that Key offered the best terms and lowest rate of interest.

Harold Daniels, the district’s technology director, said at the July 30 meeting that the IT infrastructure project is necessary at this point, particularly considering that some of the district’s technology systems are basically beyond meaningful repair.

Daniels said that if the district’s current phone system, which is beyond “its end of life,” went down today “we’d be out [of phone service] for at least a good two months.”

He added that the district’s IT network is typically overwhelmed during standardized testing periods, when the more than 2,000 Google Chromebook laptops used by district students are being utilized at the same time.

Daniels said that the work will happen during the 2018-19 school year. Work will start at school buildings at the south end of the district, such as Lincoln Elementary, and will spread northward. The transportation center, he said, will be the last facility to get IT upgrades.

Daniels said that there will be sufficient measures in place to ensure that the work does not interfere with the safety of students. The infrastructure project, he said, should get the district to the point where its IT networks will be sufficiently updated and operable for at least the next five years. VFP 

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