Goffstown, NH. The SAU#19 Business Office, located in the historic original 1874 school house in center of Goffstown, recently replaced the cupola on its roof. Time and the elements had taken its toll on the original structure, but in replacing it, the school district seized the opportunity to use advanced technology to provide much-needed network and Internet access to a remote classroom.
The Goffstown High School Alternative Education Program is designed to assist students that are at risk of dropping out by placing them in an individualized program outside of the high school building. This program is housed in a space rented from Northeastern Sheet Metal, Inc. on Depot Street in Goffstown. Because this remote classroom was not on the school network, the students could not utilize resources on the school LAN, including authentication services, applications, personal home folders and other network services.The school district researched a variety of options and chose to deploy microwave wireless service for connectivity. Because microwave technology requires direct line of sight, an antenna was installed inside the new cupola and a receiver was placed on the roof of the Northeastern Sheet Metal building. From these locations the transmitters and receivers have an unobstructed, highly-focused data path.
At the SAU#19 Business Office, a 400 Mbps wireless microwave connection is handed off to the district’s fiber optic data network. This connectivity allows the students at the remote classroom to access network resources as if they were in a classroom at the high school. The microwave equipment has effectively extended the Goffstown High School local area network securely and reliably to the remote classroom. In addition to extending the data network for computer use, the microwave network has allowed the district to place internal telephone extensions at the Alternative Program, improving communication and reducing costs.
“The new wireless connection is a significant upgrade for the students at the Alternative Program,” said Peter Galamaga, Alternative Program Teacher. “They now have full access to resources at the high school within one integrated system. It also helps solidify the sense of community – an essential ingredient to our success.”
Through the generosity of a leading vendor, the microwave equipment to actualize the network was provided free of charge to the district. Morin Contracting Services was in charge of the cupola replacement project, and was instrumental in adapting the plans for the new structure to accommodate the wireless technology. They also donated the upcharge for the RF-transparent panel on the cupola to the school district, resulting in a zero dollar implementation of this technology. The district also wishes to recognize Northeastern Sheet Metal, Inc. for permitting the attachment of a microwave antenna to their roof to complete the circuit.
The microwave connection is working fabulously for us,” said SAU#19 Director of Technology Gary Girolimon, “It is like having fiber in the air.”