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District OKs more Measure S spending

Among projects approved is major upgrade to computer infrastructure.

July 20, 2012|By Megan O'Neil, megan.oneil@latimes.com

Glendale Unified officials this week set in motion a new wave of school-bond funded projects, including a $5.9-million overhaul of the district’s computer network.

It signals growing momentum in the rollout of Measure S, a $270-million school bond passed by voters in April 2011 that will finance major capital projects throughout the district.

Also among the projects school board members approved on Tuesday was $74,870 for the abatement of the Wilson Middle School gym floor, $160,850 to re-carpet the district administration building, and $310,569 for a new media lab at Clark Magnet High School.

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The $5.9 million in Measure S funding to start rebuilding the district’s technology infrastructure will target the backbone of the district’s computer network, officials said.

“It is highly technical hardware that will accommodate the increased bandwidth that we will need as we continue to have more devices connected to our network,” Deputy Supt. John Garcia said.

The equipment has a life span of about 10 years, officials said, and will replace existing switches that are more than a decade old.

“This is the switch gear that we will need when we later on move to video-on-demand, video conferencing [and] IP telephony,” said Frank Schlueter, director of education technology and information services.

The expenditures were vetted and approved by members of a technology subcommittee formed last year to help shape the district’s long-term technology objectives. During the next 18 months, district officials plan to spend $14.7 million rebuilding the network infrastructure.

“The district’s goal has been to create a scalable network that will take us at least 10 years into the future, no matter what technology brings us,” Garcia said.

After issuing the first series of Measure S bonds — a total of $54 million — in August 2011, Glendale Unified officials moved quickly to set in motion long-anticipated projects. To date, more than 415 teachers have been issued new laptops, according to Garcia.

Several hundred additional computers will be in Glendale Unified classrooms by the end of the 2012-13 school year.

In March, school board members approved a $24.3 million rebuild of College View School. And last month, workers broke ground on a $7.2-million effort to install solar panels at seven district schools.

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