AIKEN - Aiken County's public schools have accomplished one of the year's most difficult tasks - completing the infrastructure necessary to access the Internet.
Technicians were at Pinecrest Elementary School early Friday morning completing work in classrooms and the library, pulling wires through the ceilings and walls, preparing for an increase in cable-ready computer capability.
With the completion of Pinecrest, each of the 37 schools in the system are now wired for Internet access, said Dal Stanley, director of instructional technology.
The $328,000 project, which is part of the school system's three-year technology plan, began in February. South Aiken High School was the first to be cabled through the district's contract with a Milledgeville, Ga., company.
"This is one of the projects that has actually stayed on schedule, within 1 percent or less of its initial budget," said Chris Guerrieri, director of technical operations.
The second phase of the project will be installing computers in the classrooms, Mr. Stanley said.
Mr. Guerrieri said the district's main priority will providing training and assistance to the schools in learning how to use the computers and purchasing the right software. The district has already purchased 320 printers and computers toward the effort.
Once the project is complete, each classroom will have one to five computers.