By Jim Wilkerson
The School Board has approved various upgrades for the 2022-2023 school year.
Electrical upgrades will be made at Ruston Elementary, Choudrant High School, and Cypress Springs. The disconnect at Ruston Elementary will be replaced with a newer one, costing the Board an estimated $6,000.
At Choudrant High School and Cypress Springs, the old Federal Pacific breaker boxes will be replaced with newer ones from either Square D or Cutler Hammer. Cypress Springs will cost around $36,000, and Choudrant High School will be around $18,000.
Also, new water heaters are being ordered for various schools.
“Some hot water heaters were installed in the 80s,” Ricky Edmiston said. “We’ve been lucky not to have leaks or a lot of maintenance.”
The School Board is moving from 600,000 British Thermal Units (BTUs) to about 250,000 with the new water heaters. “This is going to mean tremendous savings for us if we put these new Rheem Triton hot water heaters in,” said Edmiston.
Further, the School Board is bidding for new lockers to be installed in the Simsboro High School locker rooms. These lockers will be approximately 78 inches tall, 24 inches wide, and 24 inches deep, costing anywhere from $30,000 to $40,000.
Finally, a wide area network (WAN) will be added to the Ruston High School baseball complex, and internal connections will be installed at Choudrant High School and Ruston High School.
At Choudrant, the internal connection will be inserted between the main building and the auditorium. Ruston’s will be installed between the press box and the field house at the football stadium.
Debbie Pender explained that approximately 85 percent of funding for these installments will come from E-rate funding – a federal program administered by the Universal Services Administrative Company under the direction of the Federal Communications Commission.
Edmiston has already notified the School Board that more upgrades will be requested for next year. Because of the high costs for some of the projects, the upgrades have been split up between two years.
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