Mason Public Schools’ Board Approves Over $770,000 in Bids for Technology Infrastructure Improvements

Student using computer at school media center

Capital improvements to network, wireless and cabling systems will begin in late Spring following the approval of a $69.7M bond proposal in November 2017

MASON, MI – At the Mason Public Schools Board of Education meeting on Monday evening, the Board approved bids for technology infrastructure improvements with installation to begin in late Spring. The Board of Education approved contracts totaling $773,193.06. The technology contracts will be with Delta Network Services in the amount of $588,384.06 for network, wireless and UPS (uninterruptible power supply) improvements, Universal Cabling System in the amount of $48,184.00 for fiber optic cabling and Datacom Group in the amount of $136,625.00 for low voltage cabling.

Technology improvements will include replacing switch infrastructure in each building, some if which is 14 years old. Wireless Internet access will be significantly improved by increasing access points from 112 to 370. Backup batteries will be installed in each building to provide at least one hour of power to phones in case of a power outage.
In Fall 2017, the Dart Foundation and Mason Public Schools Foundation awarded Mason Public Schools $840,000 in grant dollars to purchase more than 3,200 Chromebooks for classroom use. So far, the district has purchased and distributed 1,700 Chromebooks and will be purchasing the remaining Chromebooks over Summer 2018. That will bring the current count of Chromebooks available for student use to 2,580 total.

Additionally, the district has applied for reimbursement of technology infrastructure expenses through the federal E-rate reimbursement program. This program allows eligible schools to identify needs and submit requests for competitive bids to the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). The specific reimbursement figures are not currently available, but could be 60% of the total infrastructure cost. Access to this program is not guaranteed each year due to potential federal budget constraints.

Superintendent Ronald Drzewicki said, “It is important for Mason Public Schools to continue to be good financial stewards of community resources. This opportunity for reimbursement from the federal government may not be available in the future, so it was important for us to meet all E-rate deadlines to be eligible for rebates.”

Specific details regarding the improvements to district technology infrastructure are available on the Mason Public Schools website.

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Mason Public Schools Forms Capital Improvement Committee

kids getting out of school for the day

Monthly Meetings Scheduled to Share Plans With the Community

MASON, MI – Mason Public Schools has formed a Capital Improvement Committee (CIC) to oversee the details of the capital improvement project underway after the passage of the $69.7 million bond proposal in November 2017. The first meeting was held February 19, 2018.

Board President, Kurt Creamer, appointed Christopher Mumby (Committee Chair), Liz Evans and Steve Duane to the CIC. The CIC will meet monthly with the superintendent, chief financial officer, facility director, architect, construction manager, technology director and owner’s representative to discuss the progress of the Mason Public Schools bond projects and to prepare information for the full Board of Education.

At the first meeting, the CIC received updates on the Harvey Education Center (HEC) schematic design, high school weight room renovation, technology infrastructure and equipment, the removal of the pole barn at the HEC and the disposal of excess district equipment. The high school weight room renovation will include new weight and exercise equipment, a fresh coat of paint, new flooring and a new drinking fountain. Surplus equipment is being gathered from across the district and Sheridan Realty and Auction Co. will host an online auction to sell old and excess equipment.

The CIC will meet on the fourth Thursday of each month, and the public is welcome to attend all meetings to stay informed on the progress of the bond proposal projects. “Community members are encouraged to attend the monthly CIC meetings. The information shared and discussed will be important as we move through the project,” stated MPS Superintendent, Ron Drzewicki.
As more details are finalized, information will be shared on the Mason Public Schools website. The next CIC meeting is on Thursday, March 22, at 6 pm.

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