Ongoing maintenance and repair needs were discussed at th April 10 meeting of the Challis school board.
School District Maintenance Supervisor Bob Williams’ request for six summer projects with a total price tag of $50,000, was approved. The money comes from the plant facilities levy fund. A seventh project, replacing broken floor joists in the second-story wrestling room at Challis Junior-Senior High School, is still being planned. Williams wants of use proceeds from an insurance claim to pay for that project.
Williams has ordered $4,500 of floor joists. Trustee Jim Chamberlain volunteered his truck and trailer to haul the 35-foot-long pieces from Boise to Challis to save shipping costs.
The plan is to hire a local contractor to install the joists, which double as ceiling trusses in the girls’ locker room on the first floor. Williams estimated the project would take four or five months to complete, but the room should be ready before wrestling season starts. School board Chairman Brett Plummer said labor often tends to be two times or more the cost of materials, so the district is probably looking at a project cost in excess of $10,000.
Another project high on Williams’ list is replacing another $20,000 worth of heating units. Units have been replaced on a rotating schedule before the old ones wear out. Earlier this year, Williams had two heat pumps replaced.
New security cameras at CHS and outlying buildings is another priority. The district has a $6,000 bid from Computer Zen of Salmon for the cameras. The new cameras are better than what are now used. They have “incredible clarity and resolution,” are cloud-based and don’t have to be coupled with DVRs, said Williams.
Williams’ plan is to start slow and see how the new cameras perform in the middle school gymnasium and auditorium, in the mothballed Patterson and Clayton school buildings and in the CHS gym. Then he’ll have a good idea whether to recommend replacement of older cameras elsewhere in the district. The district has 20 cameras at Challis Elementary School, 31 at CHS and nine in the middle school building, Williams said. New cameras in the middle school auditorium and at CHS could be used to live-stream events such as graduations, Williams said.
School employees could be allowed to view video feeds from the cameras and send video clips to administrators, trustees or law enforcement officials. The cameras can be tied to smartphones to send security alerts and video footage. A direct tie-in could be established with Custer County Sheriff’s Office to notify dispatchers and deputies of potential problems.
Plummer voiced concern that the cloud-based data storage could be hacked. Both the manufacturer and Computer Zen owners have assured Williams that the cloud data storage has better security than the old cameras that recorded to a DVR.
Williams plans to spend an estimated $6,610 for new security card swiping devices at CHS to open and close doors electronically.
The school district was the victim of a computer hacker in March, Superintendent Lani Rembelski reported to the board last month. Malware was downloaded to the computer system, but a software company determined that no student, payroll or other private data was compromised. It appeared the hacker or hackers were phishing for user names and passwords, she said. The software company wiped and cleaned the malware discovered on March 1 from all district servers and computers, Rembelski said.