Liberty County School System staff announced that the district has been awarded grants for technology and security during Tuesday’s board of education meeting.
The executive director of technology and media, Patti Crane, announced that her department received a $1.35 million, 3-year Department of Defense Education Activity grant to purchase iPads for all math and science classrooms at the district’s three middle schools.
The funds must be divided over the three years, Crane said after the meeting. Science classrooms will be the first to receive the iPads, and Crane is hoping for a January delivery.
The technology will be added to math classrooms during the following year, with full implementation a priority for year three, she said. Students will not be able to take the tablets home with them.
“We’re very excited about the opportunities that we are providing the students in Liberty County,” Crane said. “It’s important so that we’re able to increase differentiation and engagement in those curricular areas which ultimately will assist us in improving student achievement in math and science.”
The system qualified for the grant because of its high volume of military-related students, Crane said. Last year, 42 percent of the middle school students were considered to be military-related.
“This is a huge commitment on the part of my staff, our administrators, principals and teachers to make this work,” she added. Crane will attend a post-award conference in October to learn the specifics of the grant and how to evaluate the programs. She told the board she would offer more details at a later date.
Later in the meeting, Deputy Superintendent Cheryl Conley announced that the district, in conjunction with the Hinesville Police Department, received a $101,750 grant toward a new security system at Bradwell Institute from the Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services Secure Our Schools program.
In July, the board approved the purchase and installation of a new security system, which includes an access control panel, six access control components at exterior doors as well as data-monitoring capabilities for the school.
Now that the system has been awarded the grant, half of the project cost will be covered. The district will be required to match the grant with $103,327.64.
The Bradwell security system will act as a pilot program for the county. If it is a success, the board will consider installations at other campuses.
The board also approved a guaranteed maximum price of $9,493,979 for construction on its Liberty College and Career Academy, currently scheduled to open on Airport Road next fall.
Representatives from the project’s architect, BRPH; construction company, Parrish Construction; and general contractors, Dukes, Edwards and Dukes; were on hand to discuss proposed changes and the final project.
One representative spoke about the project managers making concentrated efforts to attract project bids from contractors and subcontractors who either are minorities, female-owned businesses or located within a 45-mile radius of Hinesville.
The figure, just shy of $9.5 million, includes construction of the estimated 50,000-square-foot building, as well as completions such as pavement and outdoor work.
“What we want is to give you the keys, and you walk in and everything works and is complete,” one worker said. “Essentially, if it’s not nailed down, it’s not included in our work.”