By Allie Jarrell & Megan Baughman
Mason News staff writers
Last Wednesday’s Finance and Property meeting started off with board members
discussing placing a wireless local area network, also known as Wi-Fi, in all district classrooms.
The cost would be approximately $30,000 for the classrooms and about $5,000 for the installation. However, according to Superintendent Mark Dillingham, district IT Director Jerome Brzezinski has a small staff that could do it themselves. The only setback is it would be a slower installation.
“The great part about spending the $5,000 is it’s instantaneous. You’re up and going,” Dillingham said. “If we did it on our own, we would start with some Wi-Fi hotspots in the libraries.”
Dillingham said that the original thought was to include the pool, auditoriums and gyms, but that the board decided to focus on putting Wi-Fi in just the classrooms. The schools are getting iPod Touches, so if students want to access the Internet on those they’d have to go to the libraries with Wi-Fi hotspots.
“My whole goal in this is to have students use tools that they always use outside of the classroom and actually apply them to education. I mean, there’s no novel idea there,” Dillingham said.
Attendants also discussed a possible new auditorium for the schools using money from the school’s budget.
According to Dillingham, the money comes in three times a year from the community, and right now it has more than they have ever had in the past. “The money came from a sinking fund, this is money the voters approved back in 2007, and we collect money every year, which goes to improvements like roofs and boilers,” Dillingham said. “Thanks to the graciousness of our community, is it allows us to replace things like boilers and windows and roofs. If we have any of that money left after the 10 years, we’d like to do something special with it and that something special could be an auditorium if the money is there.”
According to Dillingham, this issue will not be heavily discussed until January or February, but was brought up to get a head start on it. “The question is how do we start planning for it now? So we’re doing a study on the last five years of the money we have left and can we budget enough to do that,” he said. “It’s kind of like a household. I’d really like to put in wooden floors, I’ve got old carpeting now, but can we afford it?”