The Brownfield Independent School District Board met Monday voting unanimously to not only upgrade the district’s technology, but to also purchase a 14-passenger bus.
The amount earmarked for the technology upgrade stand at $ 1 million to $1.2 million paid out interest free over a five-year period.
BISD Superintendent Dr. Tanya Monroe reminded board members that it had been about seven years since the last upgrade to technology and that members had voiced the goal of having up to date technology available to students.
“It is way past time,” Monroe said. “It has been many years.”
Chris Martinez, BISD Technology Director, made the presentation to board members on how to best update the district’s technology infrastructure.
Martinez said a network refresh was needed and should also be expanded.  The update would include address switches, routers, servers wiring and new software with added access point to each classroom.
Martinez also said teachers would have the ability to instant message for better communication. Students would also be able to test at the same time without bogging down the system, BISD Director of Curriculum and Instruction Ray Vasquez said.
According to the report, the upgrade to the infrastructure would cost $ 1 million to $1.2 million with that amount financed through Key Government Finance, Inc. The terms include paying out the amount at about $200,000 per year.  The financed amount will be interest free.
“It’s a good plan and it’s well planned out,” said Monroe.
Martinez said the upgrades could be completed by as early as this winter.
Board member Geoff Cooper made the motion to accept the administration’s recommendation for the upgrade with Board Vice President Tony Serbantez seconding the motion.  Board members present at the board voted unanimously to approve the action.  The board member not present at the meeting was Fred Cawthon.
“On behalf of everybody we thank you,” said Monroe. “We look forward to you leading us through this.”
Another action item taken during the meeting was a vote to approve the purchase of 2014 a 14-passenger bus.
BISD Maintenance Director Brian Paiva gave the presentation to the board concerning the proposed purchase.
Paiva said he researched the requests for vehicles for the year and there were about 40 requests for vehicles averaging about 11 people per event.
Purchasing the smaller vehicle would also be a plus because a CDL driver would not be required.
The board voted unanimously to approve the purchase of the vehicle and earmarked $100,000 for the vehicle. The bus should be ready by September.
Monroe told members she thought the vehicle purchase should actually be closer to $80,000.
Serbantez thanked Paiva for his service to BISD.