The North Allegheny School Board Wednesday approved wiring upgrades and security measures for its buildings.
Eight board members voted to finance $4 million in technology improvements through a low-interest loan from PNC Bank. Projects include replacing the network infrastructure equipment and upgraded data wiring for all seven elementary schools and installing wireless coverage in each district building.
The work will be financed over seven years at an annual cost not to exceed $610,719.50.
The elementary wiring from 1999 does not support most of the devices available today, administrators said.
"Right now, we have IPads that we would like to use in buildings but we cannot use them," said Superintendent Raymond Gualtieri. "We are really far behind."
Board member Christopher Jacobs voted against the $4 million loan, saying that he wanted to have a clearer picture of the district's finances for the 2014-15 school year, when these improvements will likely take place.
The board also approved hiring Tower Engineering for $15,052 to prepare plans and oversee installation of video phone systems and door access controls for all schools and key card systems at the schools that do not already have them-- Bradford Woods, Hosack, Marshall, McKnight and Peebles elementary schools.
The two-step security system includes exterior video and phone connections for visitors. The school secretary can buzz visitors through an exterior door, but the visitor would have to also be buzzed into the school office.
The system was recommended by a security consultant hired after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.