Highland Elementary’s auditorium will get a technological upgrade along with its new furnishings — after an extra month of crunching the numbers.
In August, the Highland District 5 school board rejected all bids to replace the light and sound system at the auditorium, which is located in Highland Elementary School but is used by all schools in the district.
The bids came in higher than anticipated at nearly $90,000, and after debate among the school board members, they voted to reject the bids and re-bid the project.
The new bids came in closer to anticipation, according to superintendent Mike Sutton, and the board voted Sept. 23 to accept a much smaller bid for audio equipment at $21,825.
There are also bids for replacing lights and projectors that may be considered later; budget director Tim Bair said that obviously the project was reduced from the original proposal to bring down the cost.
“This will augment our productions for years to come,” said Joshua Case, the technology production specialist for the district.
Case said the new system would also cut down on heat generation in the room.
Many elements of the new system are portable, Case said, so they can be moved elsewhere in the district if there is a need.
“It will be the best system that’s ever been in this auditorium, and I believe it will be one of the best auditoriums in the area,” Case said.
The technological upgrades will supplement the new carpeting, paint and seating being installed in the auditorium.
The vote to approve the system was unanimous, as was another vote to approve a new storage-shed facility at the high school. The $25,000 project will provide individual storage space for school organizations that have equipment and other materials to store, and will provide a construction project for the building trades class, according to Sutton.