The Know It Guy

Tech updates at the way for Brown County Schools

The Brown County Schools Board of Trustees has determined a way to use a bond it’s making plans to take out later this yr.

Two schools’ entryways can be renovated, and strong metallic posts will be positioned in the front of every building to make them extra relaxed; each faculty’s ventilation machine will be replaced; and a few updates could be made to era equipment, such as the Chromebooks college students use.

The board is advertising for proposals from agencies that could paintings with the district on those projects.

At the Thursday, Feb. 15 board meeting, a public hearing might be carried out about the projects and taking out the bond that would fund them.

This new bond would replace an older one which rolls off the books this 12 months. That $6 million loan changed into taken out greater than six years ago from the country when Brown County become now not receiving assets taxes.

To maintain the tax rate impartially, the plan is to add a brand new $three million bond in a region of the $6 million bond, Hammack stated.

A smaller amount is being borrowed this time, but it will likely be paid off over a shorter period — 3 years and eight months.

Hammack said the district is trying to spend most of the cash on methods that make students more secure.

 

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“I might say safety is our No. 1 region of attention for this precise process,” Hammack said. “In this day and age, we without a doubt take it as our number one obligation.”

Plans encompass transforming the entryways at Brown County Intermediate School and Brown County Junior High School, which might be the only two faculties that do not have buzz-in entrances. One of these remodels is probable to appear this summer season and the alternative subsequent summer, she said.

Van Buren Elementary School also will get a video security gadget.

Bollards also might be placed in the front of all of the school homes so that vehicles can’t crash into them. The bollards — robust, vertical metallic posts — also might assist to prevent accidents just like the one that took place in northern Indiana in 2016 when a fundamental changed into killed whilst trying to defend a scholar from a shifting bus, Hammack said.

“We have them proper now in front of the intermediate school, and we’re loving them because it’s just type of an additional layer to prevent any form of twist of fate,” she said.

The district additionally plans to look at enhancing protection “as a whole” by way of imposing higher door locking structures and putting bulletproof sheeting on college constructing windows.

“Most of our buildings were constructed within the ‘50s when this was the remaining aspect that we have been considering,” Hammack said.

Technology paintings would consist of updating wiring and switches in homes and changing the Chromebooks that junior high and high faculty students have in 3 or 4 years.

Hammack said the district is within the system of dispensing Chromebooks to younger students and could maintain to accomplish that when new Chromebooks arrive. She said the district additionally is looking into getting tablet-like gadgets for students in kindergarten via 2nd grade.

“The bond finances might probably be used to assist buy of those gadgets for our younger newbies,” she stated.

Students inside the third via 12th grades will ultimately have their personal Chromebooks, but a timeline on that distribution will not be finalized until the end of the 12 months, Hammack stated.

Replacing heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems in every building also is an intention, but a longer-range one. That work could be carried out on a rotating schedule, changing one or two buildings’ systems each summer time. “You really don’t want that painting happening all through the school 12 months due to the fact that surely impacts negatively the experience of the scholar inside the schoolroom,” Hammack said.

Not all of the tasks will occur in 2018, and it’ll take some years to complete them all, she stated.

Hammack stated the district plans to retain to take out new bonds after older ones are paid off to address constructing desires. Structuring the college’s debt this manner continues the tax charge steady, she said.

“This rate structure goes to assist us to meet the wishes of jogging our homes and nothing greater. I feel like that is a virtually reasonable and responsible notion for the district,” Hammack said.

“It allows us for us to hold those buildings as much as requirements that I think Brown Countians assume in their faculties, however now not be flashy or over-the-top approximately it.”

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Jessica J. Underwood

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