By Andy Ross
Killeen Daily Herald

The Killeen Independent School District is considering significant investments in technology upgrades.

During a KISD board workshop earlier this week, the district’s chief technology officer, John Evans, presented information on three projects that, if approved, would come with a total price tag of more than $3.7 million.

The funding for the proposed work has long been designated in the district’s Strategic Facilities Plan, a fund that is allocated general revenue monies on an annual basis and used to pay for major infrastructure work such as new schools and modifications to existing buildings.

One of the technology projects discussed Tuesday involves $1.3 million in renovations to the district’s future technology center at the intersection of Bluebird Drive and Beeline Lane in Harker Heights.

The building, which formerly housed a call center, was purchased by KISD earlier this year for $1.7 million and is scheduled to contain a technology warehouse and data center. Evans said his staff is currently in the final stages of considering the design plan renovations.

“We need to get some more input based on the designs, and then the board can make a decision,” Evans said.

The other two projects presented at the workshop are upgrades to technology cabling and improved wireless infrastructure. According to a background information report provided to trustees, KISD’s wireless infrastructure presently is “inadequate to support the district’s commitment and dedication to mobile learning and ubiquitous access.

“Providing a comprehensive district-wide wireless infrastructure is critical at this time. … By fully deploying a wireless infrastructure at every site within the KISD, the district will support complete facility mobility for all district stakeholders, but none more so than our students.”

Three options for the wireless improvements have been proposed and range in cost from $1 million to $1.8 million, depending on coverage levels classified as “good” “better” and “best.”

The technology cabling upgrades have been proposed in order to address problematic rooms and storage closets in the district where network electronics are housed.

In some cases, the storage areas are too hot for the equipment and code violations exist. Evans said the problem is common in school districts and is a result of buildings designed several years before modern technology.

The cabling upgrades are spread across nine campuses and are estimated to cost about $1.4 million. KISD trustees did not take any action on the items during the workshop.