The Paragould School District has approved a resolution that will save its patrons about three-quarters of a million dollars.

At its February meeting, the school board acted to adopt a resolution to refinance May 2016 bonds to produce debt service savings estimated to be $756,287.75. According to information made available by superintendent Debbie Smith, the decision came after Michael McBryde, Vice President of the Stephens Public Finance Department, had presented the refunding bond opportunity, with a 2.08 percent interest rate, to the board at its Jan. 11 meeting. Smith said the majority of the savings are to be realized in the first year.

The board also heard from Danny McDaniel of Ramson’s Construction that the Agriscience and Junior ROTC buildings have been completed and have been turned over to the district. Sidewalks, canopies, and landscaping are to be completed in the near future. In the band building (the largest of the three construction jobs), McDaniel said framing and gypsum board hanging were to be completed by Feb. 19. Gypsum board finishing, he said, were expected to be completed by Feb. 26, while painting was anticipated to start by March 1. Installation of the ceiling grid was projected to start March 8. Final completion of the project, projected to be March at the January meeting, is now expected to be mid to late April. Total cost of the three-building project comes to about $10.5 million.

And the district stocked up on electronic gear. The board approved a quote from White River Services and Solutions, a TIPS/TAPS vendor, for 220 Airtame devices costing a total of $67,020.80 plus tax. Airtame is a wireless presentation solution that can be used for mirroring the screen of a computer or mobile device to a larger display (e.g., TV or projector). According to its website, Airtame is “a unified solution that equips organizations with wireless screen sharing and versatile digital signage.” It is designed to work with enterprise-grade networks and uses native streaming protocols such as Airplay and Google Cast.

The board also approved the quote from KLC Video Security, a TIPS/TAPS vendor, for the purchase and installation of 46 security cameras for the new facilities at the high school, at a cost (including installation) of $31,239 plus tax.

The Interlocal Purchasing System (TIPS/TAPS) is a commodity purchasing program aimed at meeting the procurement needs of school districts (public and private), universities, colleges, cities, counties, municipalities, emergency services, fire departments (volunteer and paid), or other state agencies.

And the board approved a quote from Apple for 300 iPads and 300 stylus pens for $144,900 plus tax. The iPads are for the district’s teachers and are replacements for the older iPads currently in use.

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