BUSD Bond Projects Include Solar Panels, Modular Classrooms And Tech Upgrades

By On September 8, 2016

Since the voter passage of the Measure S Bond in March 2013 to support infrastructure fixes at Burbank Unified schools, a number of projects have already been completed and more are in the works. The $110 million dollar bond has been divided into three three-year issuances, with each bond issuance totaling about one-third of $110 million. Periodically, myBurbank.com reports on various aspects of BUSD Bond projects. (Part 1 of 2.)

Modular classrooms, solar panels and technology upgrades are just some of the BUSD Bond projects completed over the summer break of the 2016 school year. Asphalt and fencing replacement and air conditioning at several school sites have also been checked off the to-do list for 2016.

A comprehensive list of Facilities and technology projects completed over the past few years can be found at the highlighted links. Every year, District personnel report on completed projects; this article from 2015 notes last year’s progress.

“The District’s contractors and staff have been hard at work at various school sites continuing to install network infrastructure, air conditioning, fire alarm replacements and upgrades and other various projects,” said Rick Nolette, Chief Facilities and Information Technology Officer for Burbank Unified School District.

“We are also seeing the beginning of the benefits of energy savings programs with additional savings as other solar projects become operational,” he added.

Working solar panels provide shade and savings for BUSD's Jordan Middle School.(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Working solar panels provide shade and savings for BUSD’s Jordan Middle School. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Solar Structures

Solar structures have been installed at Emerson, Jefferson and Bret Harte Elementary Schools and at Luther and Muir Middle Schools with final connections being arranged with Burbank Water and Power, according to Gene Directo, an independent contractor from the Cordoba Corporation brought in as Bond Program Manager for BUSD.

“Solar structures at Washington Elementary School, Jordan Middle School and Burbank Adult School are operational and have generated a total of 78,545 Kilowatt hours of electricity with an estimated $11,302 of savings to date,” said Directo.

Modular Classrooms

Eighteen Modular Classroom buildings were installed throughout the District this summer. The permanent classrooms replace portable classroom buildings at Emerson, Roosevelt and Washington Elementary Schools. Four new classrooms at Emerson and six at Roosevelt, including one toilet module, are now in use.

At Washington Elementary School, eight new classrooms and one toilet module are nearing completion and should be available for use sometime in September.

New permanent modular classrooms replace portable bungalows at several BUSD elementary schools, including this one at Roosevelt Elementary. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

New permanent modular classrooms replace portable bungalows at several BUSD elementary schools including this one at Roosevelt Elementary. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Main Data Server Network

The Main Data Server Network at the District Service Center was also completed during the 2016 summer months.

“The District is in the process of consolidating servers previously located at school sites to be centrally located at the District Service Center (DSC) Data Center in a secure and temperature-controlled environment with back-up power,” explained Directo.

“The primary server rack consists of eight blade servers to replace the old servers. One new blade server is nearly equivalent to the previous complement of servers. By using server virtualization, the District is able to create hundreds of virtual servers on eight physical servers as a strategy to increase capacity.”

“The fiber connection provided through Burbank Water and Power dark fiber increased the capacity from one gigabit (1 Gb) to ten gigabit (10 Gb),” he added. “The school is connected to the DSC Data Center through the BPW-provided fiber. This has allowed the school sites capacity to increase in elementary schools from 10 megabit (10 Mb) to 10 Gb and middle schools and high schools from one hundred megabits (100 Mb) to 10 Gb.”

21st Century Classroom Technology

21st Century Classroom technology projects were started at Magnolia Park School, Monterey High School, Providencia Elementary School and Community Day School. Installation of 21st Century Classrooms have been started at Burroughs High School, Luther Middle School, Mann Elementary School, Bret Harte Elementary School, Emerson Elementary School and Roosevelt Elementary School and will continue through the fall.

Interior of new permanent Modular Classroom at Emerson Elementary.(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Interior of new permanent Modular Classroom at Emerson Elementary.(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“The 21st Century Classroom is instructional classroom technology installed as a standard consisting of wall or ceiling mounted projectors, wired network connectivity to the teacher’s workstation, dedicated wireless in every classroom, a document camera, video inputs installed along the wall, ceiling mounted speakers and a voice lift microphone system,” explained Directo.

“A multimedia control system is placed within the classroom which allows the teacher to change video inputs between their document camera and PC, raise/lower volume, mute and freeze the screen.”

“The control system is also connected to the network will eventually have the ability to monitor projector bulb life and report to staff when it’s time to buy a new projector bulb before it fails. The control systems are ADA-compliant and are consistent with universal design principles.”

Look for Part 2 of the 2016 BUSD Bond projects update for more information on completed projects and those in the works.