UWP to splice into school's fiber optics system
PLATTEVILLE-With state budgetary issues taking their toll on all levels of education, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville looks to save $50-60,000 thanks to a cooperative effort between UWP, the Platteville School District and the city of Platteville.
The University will run a fiber optics connection to the Pioneer Farm by splicing into the Platteville School District's fiber optics system. The connection will provide Internet access, distance education and television feed opportunities as well as other potential uses to students and staff at the farm.
"We could have run the fibers from campus to the farm, but the cost would have been substantially more expensive," said John Krogman, assistant vice chancellor of Information Services. "By connecting to the Neal Wilkins Elementary School, located on the east side of Platteville, about three blocks from the Platteville Mining Museum, we're saving thousands of dollars."
While the fiber optics cable does belong to the Platteville School District, the University played a key role in aiding the school district to obtain the cable. Ameritech donated roughly $50,000 worth of fiber optics cable to UWP.
"We didn't need the cable, so in 1997, the University donated it to the school district, enabling the three elementary schools, the middle school and the high school to all be connected," Krogman said. "The fiber optics were installed in 1998 and 1999, with a splice running by the Platteville Public Library, in case the city ever wants to be connected to the system. The campus is also connected to the school district, although we have our own network."
Contractors began laying the fiber optics cable, connecting the Pioneer Farm to UWP via the Neal Wilkins Elementary School, in mid-October. Krogman said the project should be complete within six weeks. Once the cable has been put in place, no additional expense will be incurred to the University or school district, with the exception of locator costs charged by Diggers Hotline, Krogman added.
Although the fiber optics cable will not be connected to any of the current facilities at the Pioneer Farm, once construction is complete on the new agriculture technology center (slated to break ground some time this fall) and other new building projects at the farm, the fiber optics will be utilized.
"We wanted to get this project done before winter arrived, and we had the funding to do it now," Krogman said. "Once the cable is connected, we'll be able to provide the same services to our students, faculty and staff at the farm that are currently available on campus.
"This is a great example of a cooperative venture demonstrating the close working relationship between the city of Platteville, the school district and the University. It's a win-win-win situation for all three entities."