Mattawan school board approves start of technology upgrade

MATTAWAN, Mich., (Kalamazoo Gazette) Netech Corp., of Grand Rapids, was awarded the $773,056 contract to install computer-network infrastructure linking all buildings and capable of supporting data, voice, video-security and other services. The project also will pave the way for a wireless campus.

“Wireless is in the next major round of equipment purchases,” said Alex Ellingsen, senior technology designer at Secant Technologies. “We are actually starting one layer down the wedding cake with wired infrastructure.”

The board also approved a $120,000 project to update data wiring and electrical service in the district’s 18 wiring closets and add additional cable for 10 computer labs.
“If you ever have a chance to walk back to a wiring closet, which is where all the cables come back, Mattawan is like a lot of facilities: They were not meant to be wiring closets,” Ellingsen said.

“Modern buildings design wiring closets into their plans. But these (wiring closets in Mattawan schools) are (former) custodial closets, book-storing rooms or furnace rooms. So we’ve been using those spaces, but they are not secure or environmentally clean, and they don’t have their own power.”

The board also heard presentations about two other projects. Project 2209 involves the installation of a battery backup for the computer network equipment and equipment to support a move to a Voice Over Internet Protocol phone system.

The board also approved the hiring of Quentin Solis as a part-time English teacher at Mattawan High School. Solis moved to the area in 2004 after teaching high school English in Iowa. He has recently worked as a substitute teacher in Mattawan and at Lake Michigan College.

Other business included approving a short-term loan of $1.75 million to borrow against anticipated state aid. The loan is to pay for the cost of beginning the new school year.

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