Officials at the Grand Canyon Unified School District have a big project to work on this summer. They’re pushing forward a plan that would run a fiber optic cable to the district’s lone school, giving it high speed internet for the first time. KNAU’s Zac Ziegler reports:
The district secured federal grants to cover most of the six-and-a-half-million-dollar price tag, and the state will pay for the rest.
But, getting agreements to run the cable nearly 70 miles across national park, national forest, state and private land has delayed the process, leading the district to seek an extension on those grants.
District Assistant Superintendent Matt Yost says getting reliable, high-speed internet would be a game changer for the rural district.
“We spend a lot of time with pens and paper. Classes could move into the 21st century. Payroll could be done during the week rather than on the weekend or sending someone home to use their own Wi-Fi. I don’t know if I can get across how difficult it is at the Grand Canyon.”
Yost says grant extensions and land use deals must happen before the contractor can run the fiber optic cable to the school.
He hopes the whole process will be complete this time next year.