School board discusses internet upgrades at first meeting of school year

After breaking for the summer on June 26, the board of trustees for the School District of Mystery Lake (SDML) hosted their first meeting of the 2018−19 school year on Sept. 11.

The board spent the majority of Tuesday’s meeting playing catch-up on various housekeeping items, including the installation of fibre optic lines that will enhance telephone and internet services for R.D. Parker Collegiate, Westwood School and the school district office.

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According to trustee Sandra Oberdorfer (formerly Sandra Fitzpatrick), these upgrades will make the district’s network more reliable, especially when they experience bouts of intense winter weather.

Secretary–treasurer Kelly Knott said the SDML is aiming to complete this $124,000 project by Oct. 24, since they’ve already made internal connections in all three buildings but still need to set up external fiber optic cables along Thompson Drive and in the Westwood area.

Even though this project began in the summer, council just got around to approving easement agreements on Sept. 4.

Knott said the SDML plans to install these fibre optic lines in the rest of the school district sometime in the future, although the timing of this follow-up project will depend on the public funding they receive moving forward.

The current board of trustees only has three more meetings before the upcoming municipal election on Oct. 24, which will mark the end of several trustees’ time on the board.

Trustee Janet Brady already resigned at the end of June, and Liz Lychuk and Ryan Land will not be seeking second terms, with the latter member having accepted a job with Vale in Sudbury, Ontario.

Trustee Leslie Tucker remains undecided about whether or not she will run for a third term on the board. Meanwhile, trustees Oberdorfer and Guido Oliveira haven’t yet responded to inquiries about their status heading into the upcoming election.

Board chairperson Don MacDonald is the only current member of the board who has confirmed that is definitely seeking re-election.

The next board meeting is Sept. 25 at SDML headquarters on 408 Thompson Drive North.

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