BOE focus: Building, tech

Published 1:27 am Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Board to phase in use of stadium video board

The Andalusia Board of Education will ask the city council to continue to allocate most of the proceeds of a half-cent sales tax for education for the ongoing construction projects at Andalusia High School.

Superintendent Ted Watson presented a proposed request to board members Monday night, and plans to formally make a request to the council on July 3.

The half-cent sales tax earmarked for education generates approximately $1 million in the city each year. For the past several years, $500,000 of that has been earmarked for the renovation of the AHS auditorium and stadium, a project currently underway.

That will again be the board’s priority. The request for funding will include:

  • $500,000 for the auditorium/stadium project
  • $110,000 for the continued Apple computer lease.
  • $75,000 to fund the music program at AHS.
  • $212,000 for four computer labs
  • $50,000 for a video analyst and equipment necessary to have student led/trained personnel to manage the video board in the new stadium.
  • $108,000 for the debt service on the auditorium/stadium project for the first year.
  • $15,000 in contingency funds.

The new computer labs are virtual reality or augmented reality labs, Patty Taylor explained.

“We really want to step up what we’re able to prepare our students for,” she said. “This comes with a K-12 curriculum. It would tie in to the STEM initiative we’ve been working so hard on. With this curriculum piece, we would be state of the art.”

STEM is science, technology, engineering and math.

In related business, the board debated at length issues surrounding the stadium and auditorium construction.

The board heard from LaDon Findley of Encore Technologies, who presented a proposal for the equipment needed to use the new video board for live shots and instant replays. The equipment proposal, which did not include construction-related costs, was $227,000.

The proposal included four robotic cameras, including one behind each field goal, and two on the face of the new press box. An additional wireless camera would be used on the field and in the stands.

The board asked instead for a proposal of the basic equipment needed to run the board in the first year, as board members did not think personnel would be ready to manage the expanded system in the first year.

This decision is separate from head coach Trent Taylor’s plan to use current cameras to provide instant replays to referees.

The board also voted to add a scene batten and a ceiling mounted acoustical panel to the auditorium project. Neither item was included in the base bid. The new auditorium has a fly tower, but without the batten, the tower is just additional vertical space.