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Approved: $600K for ed network center
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The Newton County Board of Education looks to begin construction on a new network center this week.

The board approved a bid from Bon Construction on July 17, in the amount of $654,148 for the construction of a new Network Operations Center.

Dr. Gary Shattuck the Director of Technology and Media Services for NCSS said construction for the new center will begin on Aug. 6. He said the board does not know when the project will be completed, but they hope it will be finished some time this fall.

Shattuck said the money used to fund the project would come from a federal grant.

"All the money used to fund this project is reimbursement funds from a federal grant program called eRate. The funds used to construct the Network Operations Center will not come from General Funds or from SPLOST funds, which are used to fund capital projects," he said.

Shattuck said all of the system's digitized data is stored in the current data room. But he said engineering firms determined the room was not sufficient for all of the systems current operations.

"Two different engineering firms analyzed the current room and came to the same conclusion: the current room is inadequate for the current needs and, obviously, cannot handle any additional growth," Shattuck said.

He said the old data room has been problematic and had very little space for the school systems technology equipment.

"The old data room has had many problems in the past mainly relating to air conditioning, available space and electrical capacity. Two additional air conditioning units were added to this room since the building was built in 2002, but as demands for technology grew, this additional capacity was eventually exceeded," Shattuck said.

Shattuck said even though the system will gain a new operations center, the school system would continue to use the old data room.

"The old data room will continue to be used on a very limited basis. Our plans are to convert this room into a disaster recovery center with limited amount of equipment. This limited use will thereby ease the stress on the current space, the current electrical capacity, and the current air conditioning systems."