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Spring 2019 Issue One
Lorrie Owens
This Isn’t Your Grandparents’ School
By Christian Baker and Dennison Winchell

Twenty years ago, the need for technology infrastructure in facilities construction was almost an afterthought. We all have seen a shift over the past two decades with the need for technology considerations during facilities conversations and planning. In current times, there are still facilities projects that happen throughout the state which do not consider the ever-increasing impact of technology on the education system. Those districts that have been at the forefront of planning for technology infrastructure often do not plan alone. The increase in the use of technology design consultants has increased the efficiency of the planning by the most innovative districts.

Growth and considerations for future technologies present challenges to each entity when working to plan and budget a facilities project. Attempting to project the next cutting-edge impact technology or simply implementing additional cabling have been frustrating for anyone who has gone through the process of construction. This could either be through new facility construction or retrofitting hundred-yearold structures. In this case, difficulty cannot deter the conversation from happening at the local, regional, statewide, or national levels. The conversation of technology inclusion within facilities must remain a focal point for all stakeholders.

It would be difficult to name a system within a school that is not network based. Everything ranging from phone systems, paging and intercom, HVAC, irrigation, mass notification and even lighting systems now run on networks. This also includes the need for robust wireless connectivity, the ability to accommodate increasing internet speeds, and one-to-one programs that assist educators and staff in attaining the increased curricular rigor. These increased network demands need to be accounted for when designing district infrastructure.

Let us not forget the increasing demand on the networks for fire, security cameras, campus, wireless communications, and visitor management. The unfortunate need for ever increasing safety measures for schools has added considerable strain to aging infrastructure throughout the state. But there may be some facilities hope on the horizon.

The Governor's recently released budget includes plans to sell $1.5 billion in general obligation bonds for the State Facility Program (SFP) and add another $750 million to the Full-Day Kindergarten School Facilities Program. This past November’s elections saw the approval of over $9 billion in local bonds for additional funding to districts statewide. Let us not forget the potential E-Rate funding may play in possible technology planning for eligible services within facilities.

Given the amount of dollars going into new construction of school facilities, it is imperative that districts consider the need for technology infrastructure to support all facets of the education community they represent. The need for technology planning must be done in the early stages of any project to eliminate costly mistakes or oversights. Technology infrastructure does not just include the need for classroom technology, but also the security of all school constituents and the ability to process the data attained to drive the school’s focus on improving instruction

Publications Library

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Fall 2019 PDF (23.28 MB) Administration 12/13/2019
Summer 2019 PDF (3.67 MB)  more ] Administration 7/23/2019
Spring 2019 PDF (4.75 MB)  more ] Administration 7/23/2019
Fall 2017 PDF (6.64 MB) Administration 5/13/2019
Fall 2018 PDF (41.2 KB) Administration 5/13/2019
Spring 2018 PDF (4.48 MB) Administration 5/13/2019
Winter 2018 PDF (2.68 MB) Administration 5/13/2019