District sells bonds, eyes tech upgrades
School trustees in the Fredericksburg Independent School District at their Monday regular meeting accepted a bid from TIB (Texas Independent Bankers bank), who had a lowest interest rate for the district’s $9.3-million bond issue.
TIB was among eight bidders, which included Frost Bank, Security State Bank & Trust, Broadway Bank and other national financial institutions.
Voters approved the $9.3 million in school improvements in May.
Total costs of issuance to the district will be $88,000.
Trustees heard an update from Carl O’Neill, FISD technology director, about the district’s progress on 2018 tech-related bond projects.
O’Neill and the technology department staff of six have been upgrading technology all over the district.
Since 2008, the district began using the “connected classrooms,” which include desktop computers, electronic whiteboards, interactive equipment, scanners and projectors, O’Neill said.
Other laptop projects are in progress, to provide students with laptops. The libraries now hand out computers daily, with a concentration at the high school campus. O’Neill said he expects more than 800 new laptop units to be delivered in the coming weeks.
Wireless projects are growing by leaps and bounds for his department, O’Neill said.
“We’re introducing so many wireless devices into our network with the laptops and bring-your-own device initiatives we have started. So now, we have an access point in every classroom so we can support the density we’re expecting with this new rollout,” he said. “In the past, we had alternating classroom access coverage and we found out that wasn’t supporting our needs. That was the impetus for the rollout with all these new digital devices we’re introducing — with textbooks coming online, and other things — that’s the direction we’re heading. It’s a monster project.”
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