School district continues to move toward upgrading to fiber Internet for all schools

After several months of negotiating and preparing, the Mercer Island School District is another step closer to sending out bids for installing fiber Internet to its South end schools.

The district was working with Puget Sound Energy to figure out how many telephone poles would need to be replaced to run the fiber cables along West Mercer Way to the South end. After being originally told that over 100 poles would need to be replaced, the district re-evaluated and decided to trench from Island Park Elementary to the South end Fire Station. Doing this will mean that the district will only have to replace two poles, costing between $4,000 and $6,000.

“The project at this point is very manageable,” said Dean Mack, the executive director of business services and human resources. Trenching from the school is going to cost the district approximately 20 percent less than it would to replace poles along West Mercer Way.

Mack said they expect to go out to bid on the project in the next several weeks and will likely have the fiber cables installed and ready to use by the beginning of the next school year.

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