PB moves to Phase 4 of Smart Schools Bond Act

By Kerry Butrick Dowling
Posted 11/16/21

The Pine Bush School District is ready to move on to Phase 4 of improvements under the Smart Schools Bond Act. The Pine Bush Board of Education recently voted to approve the preliminary scope of work …

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PB moves to Phase 4 of Smart Schools Bond Act

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The Pine Bush School District is ready to move on to Phase 4 of improvements under the Smart Schools Bond Act. The Pine Bush Board of Education recently voted to approve the preliminary scope of work to move on to Phase 4 as outlined by Director of Technology John Hicks.

In November 2014, voters in New York State passed the Smart Schools Bond Act as a referendum which authorized the issuance of $2 billion dollars in bonds to finance projects around the state. The Pine Bush School District’s allocation was approximately $5 million dollars.

“Many years ago when the money was first approved we anticipated that we would do five $1 million dollar projects- so far we have done three of them. Every project has taken approximately a year and half or more to get approved and by the time it gets approved the cost has shot up so sometimes we’ve had to scrape things out of early projects and put them in later projects,” said Pine Bush Superintendent of Schools Tim O. Mains.

Phase 1 included the issuance of security cameras throughout all seven schools, adding a lockdown and lockout notification system, and wiring and cabling throughout five school buildings.

Phase 2 consisted of replacing the security system in each of the Pine Bush school buildings, replacing fiber optic cabling throughout the district, adding doors to the card access system, and replacing analog phones in all school buildings except the high school.

Phase 3 involved the relocation of wiring in Circleville Middle School and replacing the public address systems in all schools except the high school.

Currently, the Pine Bush Central School District is ready to move on to the next step in the improvements. “We will take everything left and wrap it up into what we’ll call Smart Schools Phase 4,” explained Superintendent Mains.

An analysis of the technology infrastructure was completed in addition to a look at the security system for the district. From that review, district officials and consultants made recommendations on the areas that were evaluated, preliminarily pricing was giving, and priorities were identified. The priorities were reviewed by the Pine Bush Technology Task Force and the School District Leadership Team.

Plans for Phase 4 include replacing the public address systems in the high school, replacing the analog clocks with digital clocks that are announcer displays throughout all of the school buildings, replacing switches that run the network in different buildings, and installing exterior security cameras in the high school and Circleville Middle School.

With the Board’s approval of the scope of work now complete, the scope for Phase 4 will now be posted on the district website for thirty days. The district is then required to hold a public hearing, and the Board will be asked to approve the finalized plan at that time. The finalized scope of work is then shared with a review board at New York State Education Department and once approval is received the district can move forward with bidding and awarding to complete Phase 4.

“Thank you for all of your work. It’s been a monumental task over so many years and then the pandemic so thank you,” said Board of Education President Gretchen Meier.

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