Stressing an analogy of changing road map , the Killeen Independent School District Board of Trustees gave approval Tuesday of the latest version of an infrastructure plan calling for $267.3 million in expenditures over the next seven years.  The Strategic Facility Plan which address more than 20 projects ranging from new schools to technology upgrades has seen significant variances in projected costs since being approved last November for 238.4 million.

While some projects have been dropped off the plan , others have dramatically climbed in estimated cost-the primary example being the planned fifth high school increasing by $52 million.

Of central concern to KISD Board members on Tuesday were the more than 13 million in recommended technology upgrades added to the plan following a works-shop last month.

As seen in a 5-1 vote for approval (trustee Shelley Wells was not present) not all board members were in agreement on the value of recommendations being presented by John Evans KISD’s chief technology officer.

Board Trustee Terry Delano was the lone vote of disension indicating he felt the technology upgrades may have been added to the strategic plan in haste.

“The first time we saw this was two weeks ago,” Delano said. “That’s a lot of money we are adding in here without adding revenue.”

Prior to the board’s vote of approval, Superintendent Robert Muller and Board President Mike Helm emphasized that specific projects under the overall plan could not be funded until they were taken up for conderation individually.  Immediately after the vote on the plan.  Evans asked the board to approve $2.8 million project upgrading the school district’s wireless system.

Again Delano expressed his opposition saying he “was still trying to process this.”  Helm along with trustee Ron Rainosek also said they needed more details and not action was taken.

The next technology project was a request for a $250,000 centralized data storage system for students which board unanimously approved.

A third information-only presentation was then made by Evans on a recommended $2.4 million Voice-over-Internet Protocol project that would replace a telephone communication system he said was beyond its life cycle.

Helm said he was concerned the growing list of technology projects could place an unmanageable burden on Evan’s staff. “in the last year or so  we have approved a lot of technology projects that create a requirement on the part of technology projects that create a requirement on the part of the technology services department.”  Helm said. “i’m concerned about too many projects being on your plate at once.”

by Andy Ross, Killeen Daily Herald