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Board OKs borrowing $20 million


Special to The Press

Parkland School Board directors approved a parameters resolution during their Jan. 16 meeting to borrow $20 million for various district needs.

Representatives from PFM Financial Advisors LLC explained a portion of the amount will go to fund the Operations Center already under construction and to provide initial funds for the planned high school expansion project.

Director of Communication and Community Engagement Nicole McGalla reported the borrowed amount will also include funds to finish capital projects at Kratzer and Schnecksville elementary schools.

There will also be an allotment of $1.5 million for new buses.

The parameters resolution authorizes the district to borrow up to $24 million, an amount which is listed to provide flexibility for the financial team to go through the process and move toward Pennsylvania Department of Education approval, but only $20 million is needed now.

In another matter, the board approved a quote from Trebron Security LLC for the Sophos Managed Detection Response service to provide districtwide cybersecurity for $161,022 to cover 42 months with three annual installments of $53,674.

The service is available 24/7/365 for a team to detect and respond to cyber attacks targeting work stations, servers and network infrastructure.

The Network Detection and Response portion looks for abnormal traffic flows from unmanaged systems, rogue assets, insider threats, unseen attacks, and unusual patterns deep within the network.

The Sophos Central Firewall Integration Pack, included in the Trebron package, permits collection of security from non-Sophos products to detect and respond to more threats faster.

Tom Derhammer, director of technology, noted the district has cyber insurance, but the provider recommended acquisition of the Trebron software.

He said cyber attacks can cost more than “six figures” which has happened in the Altoona and Souderton school districts.