London: Supposed HVAC issues may be based on personal preferences

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Is the heating-ventilation-air-conditioning (HVAC) system at Punxsutawney Area High School acting up — again?

During the Punxsutawney Area School Board’s Wednesday committee meeting, board President Gary Conrad asked PAHS Principal David London about heating issues with the system, which underwent an extensive reworking last year after years of problems.

London said based on what he has heard from people in the building — it’s too hot or too cold — his assessment is that supposed problem areas may be based on personal opinion.
“Overall, I’d say it’s a lot better,” he said about the system.
Board member Bob Pascuzzo said “a lot better” doesn’t necessarily mean the long-problematic system is fixed.

Business Administrator Susan Robertson said the project was to fix wiring, not so much mechanical equipment, which was not in the scope of the project. Now, any problems may be with actual units that are malfunctioning, regardless of the rewiring work.

Also Wednesday, Gerald Gigliotti, director of instructional technology and technology coordinator, gave the board his 2011-12 budget and some projects planned for the rest of the 2010-11 school year.
Some items — upgrading network equipment, replacing PCs in the high school CAD lab and Microsoft Office licenses — are already included in his department’s 2010-11 budget.

He said replacement of a Cisco 3750 Core switch is necessary, because it controls the network at both the high school and middle school.
“If it goes down, we’re kind of out of business,” Gigliotti said.

A replacement switch will cost $6,608, while replacing a data back-up server will cost about $5,000. The current back-up server — which serves as a back-up for information if anything would happen to the school — is between seven and eight years old, he said.

For the 2011-12 technology projects, Gigliotti is looking at 10 Smart Classrooms for the elementary level at $24,000; five Smart Classrooms at $12,000; and federal programs software support for $52,775.

Gigliotti said he has also been working with Comcast on getting digital TV cable converters, similar to what Comcast customers had to do — install a new box — in their own homes recently.
The catch, however, is there are 225 TVs in the district, Gigliotti said, each requiring a converter box. He said he has been working with Comcast to come up with one box that would serve all the TVs.

Gigliotti is also looking at funding to continue the 21st Century Learning initiative, with 30 laptops for eighth grade; 200 laptops for juniors; and 20 laptops for teachers, coming in at $266,737.

He said he would like to lease the 200 laptops for juniors, at a cost of $73,000, as opposed to buying the machines. Also, the district is now in the second year of a four-year lease of laptops at a payment of $84,000.