Mark Taylor
The Spring Hill School Board voted May 9 to replace about one-fifth of the district’s computers at a cost of $211,241.
The new machines will replace mostly seven-year old computers used for student testing and instruction.
The purchase includes 91 laptops and 206 desktops.
“We have put off and stretched our computers as long as we can,” said Superintendent Bart Goering.
The bid for the machines came in about $32,000 below what was budgeted in the capital outlay fund.
The district is currently on a five-year rotation for laptops and a seven-year rotation for desktops.
“When they get that old they are slow,” Goering said. “They are just not the type of quality that our kids and staff need.”
Phil Elliott, technology director, said the new computers will have CD/DVD burners and built-in cameras and will replace the oldest machines in the district.
The computers are expected to be installed by fall.
Elliott said there are about 1,500 computers in the district and just fewer than 300 are being replaced in this rotation.
“The general concept is that we are going to move computers from the computer labs to replace the oldest computers that are in the classrooms, and then put new machines in the computer labs,” Elliott said.
When asked why the purchase was being made before the bond issue election, Goering said it is a matter of timing to get the computers installed by fall.
He added that technology upgrades earmarked in the bond issue are separate from the computer replacements.
“These are strictly student computers that we have put off for quite a few years already,” Goering said.
Elliott said no additional software purchases will be necessary for the new machines.
In other business, the board:
• Approved a sick leave buy-back from certified staff for a total of $12,743.  Goering said the district buys back sick days annually.
• Raised district fees for 2011-12. Breakfast and lunch fees will increase by 5 cents. Pay-to-ride bus fees will increase by $5 per student and $15 per family. Driver’s education fees will be addressed in December.
Facility rental was increased $5 per hour to cover costs for personnel.
• Was informed that the Spring Hill Education Foundation Golf Tournament raised $13,000 for student scholarships. The money will go toward providing 10, $1,500 scholarships.
• Heard a presentation from the Spring Hill High School Volunteer Club on recent projects and accomplishments.