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Prairie South recently issued requests for proposals valued at over $3 million for various projects

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The Board of Trustees members discussed some of the projects on offer during their most recent meeting in May.

The Prairie South School Division has issued more than $3 million in requests for proposals in recent months, with some projects focusing on driver training, technology improvements, bus purchases and boiler replacements.

Between March 1 and April 30, the department awarded contracts valued at $3,267,068 to contractors for the following projects:

  • A three-year driver training contract between Hansvall Driving School ($60,840, rural schools), Miles Ahead Drivers Ed ($701,675, Moose Jaw) and Stepping Stones Driving School ($263,250, rural school), while the department re-tendered a contract for another rural area because it received no bids
  • Pro-Tec Electric was awarded a $31,000 contract to upgrade data cabling at Central Butte and Chaplin schools
  • To support computer hardware upgrades, Cattan Technologies received $2,840 to provide charging carts, GenX Solutions received $216,105 to provide Chrome OS licenses, notebooks and SFF PCs, and PC Corp received $58,429 to provide Chromebook monitors.
  • Legacy Bus Sales received $1,550,000 to provide 10 gas-powered school buses for the 2024-25 year
  • Regina's Excel Refrigeration Ltd. will replace the École Palliser Heights School's boiler system this fall for $309,688
  • Vates Orchestra will provide the department with $44,409 worth of virtualization software over the next three years
  • Horizon Computer Solutions provides Ruckus wireless access for $28,832

The department has one physical computer server, but within that tower has four to five virtual servers that perform different tasks, Chief Financial Officer Ron Purdy explained during the board meeting in May.

Prairie South put out a request for proposals for virtualization software because another company had bought the company it had bought the software from, “and the price went through the roof,” he continued. However, Vates Orchestra's costs are much lower than before.

If the tenders are for more than $75,000, the department must submit them to SaskTenders, Purdy added. And while most tenders go to Saskatchewan-based companies, tenders focused on information technology typically go to companies outside the province.

Trustee Lew Young said Prairie South appears to be submitting more tenders to SaskTenders than before, whereas in the past, he recalled, the department issued more tenders to local companies. In addition, the tenders are now open to everyone in Saskatchewan, not just companies in the region.

The next Prairie South School Board meeting will be Wednesday, June 5.