The North Canton City School District cut the age of its buildings’ technology practically in half by acquiring 600 used desktop computers with LCD monitors and 580 used laptops from another Ohio school district.
"We pretty much cut the age of our technology in half with one fell swoop with the purchase of over 1,000 computers — between the desktops and laptops," said Eric Curts, North Canton City Schools’ technology director, when he spoke to the Board of Education Wednesday night.
Curts told the Board about his efforts to swap out the district's aging technology while saving money. He had made pleas to local businesses and asked around for any technology that wasn't being used.
“I extended the net. I said. ‘Maybe there were some school districts that got a little lucky this year,’” Curts said.
And there were. An employee of the Hilliard School District (near Columbus), who remembered Curts from a previous technology conference, offered up the district’s older equipment to North Canton City Schools.
The equipment would have been recycled while the district would have gotten $50 per laptop and desktop with monitor.
“They said, ‘Hey, if you guys want them, we’ll offer the same thing to you,’” Curts said, adding the district eventually got $120,000 worth of equipment, including wireless access for the schools.
“I’m just really excited about what this is going to let us do in our district,” he said. “This is really going to give us a shot in the arm for all of our buildings.”
Curts said he and some helpers (including his sons) are moving the equipment into the schools. It all needed cleaned and hard drives cleared before use. All equipment should be in the schools and most should be ready to use by the beginning of the school year.
The laptop computers are extremely energy efficient and district officials should notice that on upcoming energy bills after replacing their older technology, he said.
“Somewhere within one calendar year, we should be able to pay for these with energy savings,” Curts said.
Each classroom in the elementary schools also will have a data projector, he added.
Superintendent Michael Gallina said the district considered the House Bill 264 Program, which would have cost the district $1.1 million for less equipment than they received from Hilliard.
The Board also approved several contract changes and the upcoming resignation of Business Manager John Stanley, who plans to leave in March of 2012. He said he announced his retirement plans early in hopes of transitioning someone else into the position.
The Board’s set its next meeting for 5 p.m. Sept. 20.