As times change, so must the learning environments in our schools, especially when it comes to technology. The Auburn school district has been hard at work on some major capital improvements district-wide over the summer, and the district’s IT department has put in a great deal of time and effort on the configuration of several new technology systems.

At Auburn High School, improvements to the audiovisual capabilities in the library are in the works. Currently, members of the public who attend board of education events are unable to hear the discussion or adequately view presentations. The installation of a 5,500-lumen projector with a motorized screen will give audiences an excellent picture during presentations. There will also be two 65-inch flat panel displays installed: one facing the direction the audience sits, and one facing the direction board members sit. All new ceiling-mounted microphones and speakers will also be installed throughout the library, along with two PTZ cameras, allowing the opportunity to automate recordings in the future.

Also at the high school, the track has been resurfaced to ensure the safety of our students, and an audio system is slated to be installed in the high school auditorium in late winter or early spring. The current audio equipment is more than 40 years old and mostly inoperable. The new Bose loudspeaker system that will be installed provides a high-quality sound reinforcement system that significantly increases speech intelligibility and natural music amplification while providing uniform coverage throughout the entire venue.

The Genesee Elementary auditorium is currently undergoing a complete renovation and is scheduled to be complete within a few weeks. The new auditorium will boast new walls, a new ceiling, a new HVAC system, new lighting and new chairs. The auditorium at Herman Avenue Elementary also saw some renovations over the summer. It received a new ceiling with skylights in order to help with overall visibility in the venue.

Technology upgrades are underway district-wide. We will be conducting a full wireless overhaul throughout the district, which will increase wireless coverage to all instructional spaces and school grounds. We will also be installing interactive whiteboards, as well as short-throw projectors, in every instructional space district-wide. These upgrades are slated to begin sometime in November, and we are anticipating completion sometime in late winter or early spring.

At Auburn Junior High School, the technology wing has been completely renovated. A newly designed Mac lab in the wing contains 26 iMacs that will be equipped by the IT department to run graphic-intensive video editing software such as iMovie and other core applications. A new media room will be used for audio and video production, and it will include a bank of iMacs and video equipment that will capture student projects and allow students to review their projects on the iMacs or live on the display installed within. The entire video editing process can take place in this room with team members collaborating on the final project.

Also in the junior high’s new technology wing, there is a PC/robotics lab, which is a space that will be utilized by students working within the Project Lead the Way Gateway curriculum. When students are not working on the computer, the monitor, keyboard and mouse can be stowed away, and the entire desk space becomes available to students for hands-on engineering projects such as robotics. The new technology wing provides our junior high students with modern 21st century learning environments that will help adequately prepare them with the critical skills they need to be successful.

Behind the junior high, the work at Holland Stadium is now complete. We are thrilled to be able to provide our students and the Auburn community with a new state-of-the-art facility they can take pride in. Please join us for the ribbon-cutting ceremony and rededication of the newly renovated field at Holland Stadium, along with a community pep rally, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20.

For updates district happenings, please visit our website, district.auburn.cnyric.org.

Michael McCole is president of the Auburn Enlarged City School District Board of Education.

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