Cassville installing new intercom, alarm system

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Incoming system allows for remote access through cell phone

The Cassville school district has been working over the summer to start and finish a number of renovations, all a part of the Vision 150 $4 million bond issue, and coming up on the list is a new intercom and alarm system.

Richard Asbill, Cassville superintendent, said it really depends on how people define it, but when talking about a traditional view of an intercom system, there are a few key parts.

“First, I need to call to a specific room and make an announcement or make an all call to the entire building or campus, like the morning announcements,” he said. “What we have to realize is that now intercom systems are more like a communication system.”

Asbill said there is still a need for the traditional ability to intercom to a room or to service the bell system.

“The old bell system runs through the intercom system, which is a communication system,” he said. “Now what we have is four separate systems, an intercom, fire alarms, panic alarms and a weather alarm system.

“Our challenge with that is, for example, the tornado alarm for the main campus is the same tone as the tardy bell in the high school.”

Asbill said another thing with having four buildings is the current system makes it very difficult to clearly communicate with two buildings at the same time if there is an issue.

“The new system will integrate all four systems into one,” he said. “We will have the ability to call from the central office to any specific classroom at either campus.”

Asbill said in addition if a fire alarm is issued, the communication system will announce clearly and verbally that a fire alarm has been initiated.

“Another great part to this new system is that we will have remote access to the system from anywhere,” he said. “Say I am in Jefferson City at a meeting, I will have the ability from my phone to call into a building or a classroom and make an announcement or help coordinate something.”

Asbill said the system in place now works in some buildings and not in others.

“We have done the best we can with what we have, but it is just not a communication system and that is what we need,” he said. “Right now, our high school building is on a completely different system than the rest of the campus, and we are excited to have an inclusive system that is clear.”

Asbill said with the remote access, each of the main offices will have an administrative console that they can use, and all administrators will have remote access from their phone.

“It is a web-based system and is networked,” he said. “One of the best features that we are excited about is that it is a functioning system.

“Our system now functions at about 80 percent. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, and sometimes the speaker is clear, and other times, it is not.”

Asbill said the old system is just not practical when talking about being efficient and effective in student safety areas.

“The old system will stay in place until the new system is activated,” he said. “They will start on the install in the next week or two.”

Asbill said it will probably take until the end of August or first part of September before the complete transition to the new system will happen.

“Another challenge with the current system is that with the bell schedule,” he said. “Right now we have to put in a work order, and it could take up to two months for someone to come out and change our bell schedule, even if it is just a three-minute issue.

“The system we have now isn’t made anymore, so there is no one to support it.”

Asbill said with the new system, administrators can change the bell schedule themselves on site.

“There will be two different trainings for the administrators and building level secretaries to attend,” he said. “That is a part of why we selected Tech Tree. They did an outstanding job of demonstrating and facilitating the transition of the system, and we are excited to work with them.”

Asbill said the system is called Bogen E7000, and the base bid on the proposal is $58,776.

“We did take some alternates, so we will add some speakers in the field house, the two FEMA buildings, the two shop areas, and we are taking an option to do some external speakers for the playgrounds,” he said. “One additional alternate that we are evaluating is the biggest. It is to rewire the middle school and primary buildings, those are the two oldest parts of the system now.”

Asbill said that alternate is about a $30,000 addition, but that would provide new wiring, speakers and push call buttons in each room.

“We will evaluate that once they get on site,” he said. “We feel that putting those new items in will bring middle school and the primary buildings up to where the intermediate and high school are currently at.”

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