Okaloosa schools office to get new phone system

Okaloosa County Schools District
FILE PHOTO | Northwest Florida Daily News
Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 03:31 PM.

FORT WALTON BEACH — The phone system at the Okaloosa County School District’s main office is getting replaced this month after unexpectedly breaking down.

No calls could be made or received at 120 Lowery Place from late Thursday afternoon until about lunchtime Friday after the computerized system failed.

“Most of our phone systems are way past end of life — the company that made them has gone out of business,” said Eric Mitchell who oversees technology in the district. “They’ve done a really good job of holding up longer than they were ever supposed to hold up.”

A patch now is in place and everything but the voicemail system at the district office is working again, he said.

According to Mitchell, officials knew the system would need to be replaced soon, and was one of the top priorities along with phone systems at three schools.

Prior to last week’s breakdown, they had planned to replace phone systems at Choctawhatchee High School, Meigs Middle School and Edwins Elementary School this year. Now they are tacking the district office onto the bid.

The issue was brought before the School Board on Monday to get the green light for the emergency replacement.

Bids for the new system are still being taken, but estimates put replacement costs between $80,000 and $90,000 for the district office.

Mitchell said it isn’t clear how soon the new phone system will be in place, but he hoped all work would be complete in the next two to three weeks.

He expected to present the School Board with more information at its Oct. 22 meeting in Crestview.

Contact Daily News Staff Writer Katie Tammen at 850-315-4440 or ktammen@nwfdailynews.com. Follow her on Twitter @KatieTnwfdn.

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