District 51 schools get 4,300 new computers

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MESA COUNTY, Colo. Summer may have just started on the calendar, but in just over one month summer vacation will end for District 51 students.

When the bell rings on the first day back to class students at most schools will have new equipment to welcome them.

Palisade High School, where Cher Chavez's daughter will be a senior next year, is currently under construction. Contractors are knocking down a wall to expand their computer lab for students.

"We're lucky to be able to have the opportunity to get the renovations because a lot school systems probably don't have the same opportunity," says Chavez.

Palisade High's dark room is being transformed into the new lab after their TV program came to an end. They'll be replacing 255 computers, but they're not alone. Every four years District 51 schools change out their old computers after the leases are up which leaves room for new equipment.

Taylor Elementary School also got a special delivery Tuesday after a truck filled with more than 60 new computers was unloaded.

Technicians have already been to 18 schools and will head to 20 more this summer to replace their old systems. By the first day of school there will be more than 4,300 new computers in classrooms ready for students to use.

"Keeping the latest technology at their disposal and in their hands is just setting them up for future success," says Bill Breedlove, District 51's Computer Technician.

The money to pay for leasing the computers comes out of the capital fund instead of the general school fund where money is set aside for things like this. District 51 officials say leasing computers every four years is cheaper than buying new ones.

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