SCHOOL COMMITTEE NEWS: Schools To Receive $600K Infusion Of Technology In Next Year’s Budget

WILMINGTON, MA — At last week’s meeting, the Wilmington School Committee unanimously approved $605,000 in capital requests for the 2019-2020 school year.

The capital requests included:

  • $180,000 for projector & interactive whiteboard replacements at the Middle School
  • $100,000 for a wireless upgrade at the Middle School
  • $100,000 for laptop replacements at the North & West
  • $100,000 for a new datacenter for the district
  • $75,000 for 80 desktops and monitor replacements in the Middle School Tech Labs
  • $30,000 for a PA system upgrade at the six lower schools
  • $20,000 for Chromebook Carts for MCAS testing

“The use of technology continues to play a significant role in our schools,” Town Manager Jeff Hull stressed in his recent budget message. “Capital expenditures in the amount of $605,000 are recommended in the upcoming year’s budget to help ensure Wilmington’s students can develop essential skills for the 21st century.”

“The 18-year-old Middle School requires an upgrade to its Wi-Fi infrastructure. As use of technology continues to expand, maintaining connectivity is key,” said Hull. “The replacement of projectors and whiteboards is proposed, as the existing projects with be 10 years old in fiscal year 2020 and do not have the level of resolution as compared with current projects.”

Hull also noted that the current laptops and desktops at the North and West are at least five years old, while the upgrades to the school system’s data center will allow for “automatic data balancing, greater reliability and data protection, with capacity for data and computing growth.”

Residents will vote on each capital request at the Annual Town Meeting in May.

(NOTE: The cover photo is from Airgoz Aerial Photography.)

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2 thoughts

  1. Anyone know where the suspiciously even numbers came from?

    $100,000 for a wireless upgrade for the middle school.

    I just finished a wi-fi upgrade at my work… larger area and more complicated geometries than the middle school and it cost about $13K for a top of the line Cisco system that will handle thousands of concurrent connections. I don’t think there are even a thousand devices at the middle school but I could be wrong.

    Anyone know if this went out for bid and a vendor was selected for an even hundred thousand dollars? Or did someone’s cousin get the gig?

    Any why in Gods name are we building a data center? Nobody does that anymore, almost all workloads have been moved to the far more reliable cloud.

    Another $100,000 for old technology.

    Does anyone remember last years town meeting where the finance folks talked about how they are moving to a new financial system for the town that is faster and more reliable than their old client server apps?

    They touted the benefits of it being in the cloud and not having to support and maintain local servers.

    But the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing in Wilmington. Or it doesn’t care.

    As long as someone can get a piece of a hundred grand pie why rock the boat?

    Since we will be buying new hardware there will be a refresh cycle of every few years they will want to replace the old servers and storage with new equipment. So another $100,000 will come up every few years.

    And there will be lots of money for electricity to run the servers.

    And cooling units to keep the data center cool.

    $100,000 will buy a lot of compute and storage in the cloud. Likely a multiple of whatever the data center will provide.

    Who did the cost benefit analysis of moving compute and storage to the cloud versus building a data center? The TCO – total cost of ownership for the cloud is usually lower for all types of workloads and storage.

    I don’t think the district is getting a good value for its $200,000 investment in wifi and a data center.

    If I made that proposal in my company I would have been fired and walked out of the building while people laughed at me.

    But somehow that passes for good governance in Wilmington.

    1. Hey Bob,

      You gonna leave all this gold on a low traffic website, or are you going to show up at the various town meetings (selectman, school committee, etc) and actually try to say something?

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