News and Tribune

June 11, 2013

NA-FC schools initiates $2 million bond process

By JEROD CLAPP
jerod.clapp@newsandtribune.com

NEW ALBANY —

A path for a new $2 million general obligation bond was started by the board of trustees of the New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp. at Monday’s meeting.

The board voted unanimously in favor of a preliminary resolution for a bond that would fund technology, security and renovation projects across the district. The resolution does not bind the district to spending any money on those projects right now, but allows it to reimburse itself with any up-front costs associated if it ever sold a bond.

The last $2 million general obligation bond, approved in August 2012, paid for wireless access expansion and a proprietary fiber cable network for the district. Sal Costanzo, director of technology, said now he’s asking for $900,000 of the new bond to increase security on the network and telephone lines, as well as adding more wireless access points and begin laying groundwork for the district’s own cloud network.

He said as the district begins laying out plans for a 1:1 computing initiative for students, some staff are already clamoring to use their own portable computers on campus.

“I’ve already been asked, ‘Hey, now that we have wall-to-wall wireless, why can’t we just start to do this, bring our stuff in?’” Costanzo said. “The reason is we can’t just open it wide up without putting the proper safety mechanisms in place first.”

Costanzo said the new security measures and internal network should set the district up for the next phase of their student computing endeavors.

Bill Wiseheart, director of facilities, also presented a plan to upgrade security on campuses across the district. 

He said with nearly $1.1 million, the district would get better security cameras, have better control of building access with employees, renovate the former Galena Elementary School for Floyd Central High School’s use and improve parking and the main entrance for Georgetown Elementary School. 

He said school security improvements would include replacement and possibly downsizing of security cameras in schools with more effective digital cameras. He said that, paired with internal locks for about 500 classrooms and external door and window glass could make schools more secure.

He said changing access badges for employees would make it easier for them to get in and out of buildings, while also making it easier to deactivate an employee’s access if they don’t return their badges after leaving their jobs.

But he said remodeling the former Galena Elementary School for use of Floyd Central, possibly for their Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program, would cost just a little more than the original estimate to renovate its heating, ventilation and air conditioning system when they decided to close the school in March 2010.

Snyder said with the passage of the resolution, the board isn’t obligated to pay anything for any project yet. He scheduled a work session for board members at 5 p.m. on July 15, which would be followed with a public hearing and the consideration of a resolution to sell the bond on Aug. 12.

In other news at the meeting:

• The board approved a two-year master contract with the NA-FC Bus Drivers Association. The contract includes a 1 percent raise, as well a .5 percent increase to their retirement matching funds.

• The board also unanimously approved Tammy Swarens as the new principal of S. Ellen Jones Elementary School. Terry Boutin, principal, announced her retirement.

• The board approved a new two-year contract for Bill Briscoe, assistant superintendent. His salary was set at about $110,000.

• The board approved a pay and benefit scale for food service employees. The district’s contract with the employees ends in July.