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Computer upgrades will cost schools

By Staff
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle School Board recently approved a $433,000 technology upgrade, with reserve funds being used to finance the project.
The move was made on a recommendation from Superintendent Dr. Lee Hartsell, who explained the existing computer network is overloaded and causing major problems.
"I had hoped that we could make it though this school year and fund the rebuilding of the system in next year's budget," Dr. Hartsell said. "That has not happened. We have reached the point where something has to be done."
He added, "Seven years ago, we put in a complete wireless network system with a capacity to handle 350-400 PC's. Now, we have nearly 1,000 PC's on the system. We started out with 11 channels. The last channel went down before the Thanksgiving holiday."
He said when a breakdown occurs at one school it affects all of the other schools. The entire system has to be shut down.
"This has been occurring on the average of three times a week," he pointed out.
Tim Southerland. systems administrator, said the new system will be purchased immediately through an Alabama joint purchasing agreement. CISCO Equipment Co. will do the work. It will come with a three-year warranty. He said there should not be a delay in getting the work started since a site survey has already been done.
When questioned by Board member Jeff Gray about future technology needs beyond the upgrade, Southerland said the only thing he sees on the horizon is Distant Learning.
"This is a necessary step in that direction," he pointed out.
"Did the price surprise you?" board member Dr. Andy Dukes asked.
"A little," Southerland said, "but when you look at the big picture, it's not really a surprise issue."
He said the upgrade is designed to meet the school system's technology needs for 10 years.
The board acted on other matters as follows:

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