When it opens next fall, the new Sherman High School will be equipped with modern technology and equipment aimed at providing high-speed connectivity to nearly 2,600 students and faculty.


The Sherman Independent School District approved more than $745,000 in funding Monday night for technology expenses aimed at providing connectivity to the upcoming high school and the current campus, which will become a middle school. However, the district will ultimately pay just over $208,500 for the projects.


In anticipation of the new school opening, the district approved a $254,212 contract to install a new Wide Areas Network and fiber connection at the future site. The contract calls for the construction of a fiber-optic line from the school site on West Travis Street to the SISD Service Center.


The district will be able to recoup about 80 percent of this cost using the e-rate program provided by the Universal Services Fund. Through charges to telecommunications companies, the Federal Communications Commission collects funds through UFS to be used on projects aimed at providing universal access to telecomm services.


Many of the organizations that utilize the fund are library systems and schools.


In addition to the installation, the district will also be able to rebate 80 percent of its monthly charges for the network circuits. This will leave the district paying $249 a month for continued service after installation.


At its peak, the network could service about 9,000 electronic devices at the school site with about one terabyte of data each day, said SISD Technology Services Director John Folmar. District officials estimate that each student will have two to three devices on the network. Each classroom will also be equipped with new document scanners, 75-inch smart boards and teacher laptops that will also be tied to the network.


The district also approved $490,616 in funding for new network switches for the high school and future middle school. The contract calls for give new switches for the future high school, and two for the future middle school. Of this cost, about $332,962 will be up for reimbursement.