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Schools take bids for $8 million, start spending

January 29, 2014 - By Meg Peters

Review Staff Writer

Several bids tied to the Lake Orion Community Schools' installment purchase agreements (IPAs) were approved at the school board meeting Wednesday, January 22.

Up to $8.5 million in two installment purchase agreements and an energy conservation bond was approved October 23, 2013 as the first step to generating funds for technology, security and structural updates termed critical by administration.

Lake Orion schools petitioned taxpayers for a $33 million bond in August, which failed.

Twenty-six recommended vendors were approved for both IPAs, totaling close to $3 million of the $3.2 million the IPAs are capped at.

Ten of the vendors are revamping the district's server room located in the Community Education Resource Center (CERC building) west of the high school.

About $129,000 is being spent on server room modifications, which are already underway, with nearly $108,000 in storage area network updates.

Technology-wise, about $750,000 will be spent on over 700 new desktops and laptops, and around $500,000 will cover interactive projectors and projector units.

Another project costing $455,807 is to replace the district's phone system.

Some security upgrades are also fast approaching. The Operations Department recommended bid acceptance for door hardware and rekeying, along with HVAC (heating and cooling system) for various buildings in the system.

Security upgrades include cameras, limited card reader access systems, motion detection and door contact control systems.

Around $200,000 will be spent in paving and concrete work at the high school.

Bid work for the energy bond will be discussed at the February 12 school board meeting.

Not to exceed $5.3 million, the energy bond will cover roof replacement for around $3 million, $1 million in HVAC control systems and upgrades, and network infrastructure budgeted at $625,000.

All payments are extracted from the general fund, initially predicted to cost $800,000 a year, but because of better interest rates than expected, will average $760,000 a year, said Assistant Superintendent of Business and Finance John Fitzgerald.

The district will be addressing long-term capital needs at an all day workshop on February 26, which is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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