December 13, 2012 | Volume 42, No. 50

$619K for projects

A $50,000 lift for wrestling mats heads a $619,112 list of planned capital expenditures in a budget revision approved unanimously last week by the Haines Borough school board.

The lift would hoist a $15,000 mat off the ground and into a special harness that would help extend its life over time, school officials said this week. Currently the mat is stored against a gym wall during wrestling season and beneath the pool afterward.

Other expenditures include $60,000 for four copiers, $45,000 for 60 iPads and three charging carts, $40,000 for digitizing the school’s security camera system, $35,000 for a card-lock system for school exterior doors, $25,000 for stage improvements in the elementary school gym, $10,000 for music room noise abatement, and $10,000 for replacing interior doors at Karl Ward Gym.

Superintendent Michael Byer said the iPads are aimed at improving reading skills.

Planned elementary gym improvements include stage lighting and a curtain. “We’d like to make better use of it” and are working on improving acoustics, Byer said.

Byer said security at the school hasn’t been an issue in recent years but a card-lock would remove a potential large expense for changing locks when keys go missing. “We’d have to re-key the whole building. It hasn’t happened yet but it’s only a matter of time.”

The district wants to replace four, interior gym doors because they’re old and don’t secure very well anymore, Byer said.

The board discussed the projects at a recent workshop.