The telephone system at Corry Area High School is obsolete and no longer meets the district’s needs.

“The current system at the high school is done,” said Mike Andrus, business manager for the Corry Area School District.

Andrus and Andrew Schmidt, technology coordinator for the district, explained the upgrades to two members of the finance committee — Chris Johnson and Betty Lees — who showed up for Monday’s meeting. Johnson and Roger Stranahan also attended as members of the property committee.

Andrus asked the committee members to OK purchasing upgrades to the district’s current phone system. With the committee members’ approval, Andrus said he would call remaining school board members so he could meet today’s deadline to purchase the system.

With discounts that total about $4,200, the upgrades will cost $114,000.

For the money, the district will get router/voice cards for $15,430, licensing at Corry Area Middle School and Corry Area High School for $17,201, licensing for the district’s elementary schools (a one-time fee) for $13,068, and networking equipment for $21,494.

The cost of maintenance/support is included at a yearly cost of $6,153. Also, management software is $7,140 for one year, and a yearly subscription plan may be purchased for $800.

The cost of installation is $15,254, new phones are $19,568, with the bulk of the cost for phones at the middle-high school. The cost of phones for the elementary schools is $2,091.

The current system is so outdated that, during a weather storm, the phones have to be unplugged at Corry Area Middle-High School, Andrus said.

The middle-high school phone system is so old that replacements parts aren’t available, extensions for phones and computers can be added, and the system is not directly tied into the other buildings.

“If there is a major catastrophe, there is one analog phone there,” Schmidt said.

The upgrades will link all schools together with the District Administration Office. Under the current system, Conelway and Spartansburg elementary schools have four phones each.

“This goes back to the construction of Corry Elementary School,” Schmidt said. “The plan then was to go districtwide. The current problem is at the secondary level.”

Because Corry Elementary School, Columbus Elementary School and the District Administration Office are newly constructed, the Internal Plan phone system is in place in those buildings.

The new system will add more phone handsets in the rooms at the middle-high school, allow more computer network switches, maintain one fax/emergency phone line at each elementary-school building.

The system will be centralized at the District Administration Office.

“By moving to the district’s administration building, it will save costs with a pool of lines shared instead of in each building,” Schmidt said.

The new system will also enable the district to better utilize the district’s Wide Area Network computer/communications system.

By hooking Spartansburg and Conelway schools into the system, the phones will extend to the rest of the district. For example, if a secretary at Spartansburg Elementary leaves her office, incoming calls will automatically be transferred to another school.

If the remaining board members OK’d the purchase, the system would have been ordered by today.

Andrus said the company that will provide the system is located in Erie, and the engineer is in Lakewood, N.Y.

Schmidt said the upgraded system should be completed installed by the first of the year.

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