School board approves new Burntwood intercom system, thanks Maple Bus Lines at Nov. 27 meeting

The new School District of Mystery Lake (SDML) board of the trustees had a full agenda to contend with Nov. 27 at their first regular meeting since getting sworn in.

While some of its rookie members were full of inquiries about proper procedure during meetings, there wasn’t any question about their support for a motion to replace Burntwood School’s intercom system.

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Secretary-treasurer Kelly Knott said Burntwood’s existing system needs to be replaced “as soon as possible,” since its aging software and wiring has been causing frequent disruptions lately.

“The public announcement system at the Burntwood School has had three total outages since this past September,” she said. “Each outage is lasting three to four days each. During an outage, the school uses a manual bell and there is no communication with the office from any of the classrooms during the failure period.”

School district co-superintendent and former Burntwood principal Angele Bartlett chimed in by estimating that this current intercom system is around 13 years old.

Knott said replacing this system will cost $55,000, since they also have to account for purchasing new intercom handsets, paging speakers, call switches and strobe lights for lockdown procedures.

The board unanimously approved this motion, and Knott mentioned that the project will start and be completed in January 2019.

Maple Bus Lines appreciation

During the trustee comments portion of the meeting, chairperson Don Macdonald thanked Maple Bus Lines for providing SDML students with transit service since Nov. 26.

“As I’m sure everyone knows, the city is not able to offer a transit service at this time,” he said. “So since Monday, Maple Bus Lines has been running the Eastwood route, three runs in the morning, three runs after school.”

Macdonald said the lack of city transit since Nov. 1 significantly impacts around 110 SDML students, mostly from Wapanohk Community School and R.D. Parker Collegiate.

Bartlett mentioned that not having city buses also affects University College of the North (UCN) students, a fact that she brought to the bus company’s attention recently.

“Maple Bus Lines said they didn’t have a problem picking up the UCN students … as long as we didn’t have a problem with the UCN students being on the bus with our kids, and I said I couldn’t foresee that as being a problem.”

While this move is only temporary, Macdonald thanked the bus company for giving them a helping hand as they continue talking with Thompson’s municipal government.

“We’re going to continue to have discussions with the city to see what kind of progress they are able to make,” he said. “But it is very nice that this service is available right now.”

The next school board meeting is taking place Dec. 11 at the SDML office at 408 Thompson Drive North.

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