The Rockford School Board tonight approved bid recommendations under the federal E-rate program, which provides discounts to schools and libraries to obtain affordable telecommunications and Internet access. The project will upgrade the majority of the district’s network infrastructure and upgrade the existing wireless network to the latest standards. The wireless upgrade will increase speed and coverage of the existing network.
The district put out a large E-rate bid in February. E-rate is the name used for the Schools and Libraries Program, which runs under the direction of the FCC. The program provides significant discounts to schools and libraries to obtain affordable telecommunications and Internet access.
Bids were significantly under budget; the original estimate for purchases was $3.6M. The bidding process reduced that to $2.5M, and E-rate will cover the cost of 85 percent. The remaining 15 percent – or about $382,000 – is included in the FY16 budget. The bid award is contingent on receiving a federal E-rate Funding Commitment Decision Letter. If E-Rate funding is not granted, the purchase will not take place.
Three companies submitted offers: CDW-G; Continental Resources, Inc.; and Paragon Development Systems, Inc. The bid winners are as follows:
- CDW-G: $2,459,936.32 for the switching, wireless, and UPS groups.
- Continental Resources, Inc.: $88,000 for the firewall group
The School Board tonight also awarded a bid to Stenstrom General Contractor – Design/Build Group for boiler upgrades and window replacement for energy efficiency at Spring Creek Elementary School. Three companies submitted bids:
- Stenstrom General Contractor - Design/Build Group: Base Bid: $1,052,000
- Rockford Structures Construction Company: Base Bid: $1,130,000
- Larson & Larson Builders, Inc.: Base Bid: $1,180,300
The total project budget is $1,026,054. The bid award of $1,052,000 is funded in the FY15 capital budget; $25,946 is funded through capital project contingency.