Board Approves $85,000 on Computer Aided Drafting Workstations

The Saline Board of Education approved the spending of $84,480 in bond funds on the purchase of 32 computer-aided design and drafting desktops.

These HP Omen desktop workstations will allow students to design 3D renderings of buildings and objects which would take a standard desktop multiple days to complete, according to a memo from Jay Grossman, Director of Technology for the district. The current devices in the Computer-Aided Drafting and Design course lab are no longer considered sufficient for the program, Grossman explained in the memo. The

Trustee Tim Austin questioned why Saline taxpayer bond dollars were funding a program that serves South and West Washtenaw Consortium students from several districts, including Milan, Lincoln, Dexter and Chelsea, as well as Saline.

Superintendent Steve Laatsch explained that while all schools contribute to “big ticket” items like CNC machines or drill presses, purchases like computers are handled at the local level.

“But computers, when they’re used for other classes for primarily Saline Area Schools students, that’s not something where you divide up all the costs,” Laatsch said.

Austin said he didn’t have a problem with that, but wanted to be careful about not using bond funds for expenses that other school districts should help shoulder.

Board president Michael McVey suggested the board could use information that explains what each participating school district “brings to the table” to support the consortium.

Laatsch said he’d have the new consortium director Kara Stemmer break down the numbers for the board.

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