Fossil Ridge intercom systems go offline


Photo Credits: Liam H. Flake

Liam H. Flake and Blake Cummins

On Monday, March 19, students at Fossil Ridge High School walked into school after break to find that the school clocks were off. The clocks were blank and did not have the time showing. Additionally, students found throughout the day that the bells played different tones and, at times, did not sound. The change has incited some difficulty for staff and students in determining the start and end times of classes.

According to Joel Russell, technology specialist at Fossil, the issue and shift in the bells and clocks was due to an upgrade in the intercom system that has been a long time in coming. “The clocks are off as part of a long term upgrade to the intercom system,” stated Russell, explaining the situation. Russell proceeded to provide that an outside company, which has been working on the upgrades, worked with the system over spring break, causing the intercom failures. “It’s in a condition right now where either they’re unable to make it work, or they’re waiting for parts,” he continued. “Ultimately, they’re working on it today.” Exactly when the system will be functioning, however, remains an unknown. “I haven’t heard a time on that. I hope they realize that time is an important function in school, and maintaining class schedules is important as well, and that they’ll get it taken care of sooner rather than later,” Russell communicated.

The clocks are not the only function affected by the upgrade, however. “It’s all part of one system, the clocks, bells, and intercom,” Russell explained, “and ultimately, when one of those systems isn’t working, it can affect the others.”

Additionally, the upgrade is, overall, not a recent happening, and addresses previous shortcomings in the intercom system. “If you heard anything throughout the building earlier in the school year, in some parts of the building you couldn’t hear announcements, or couldn’t hear bells, so this is part of that process to get it upgraded so it’s working everywhere,” Russell described. Furthermore, the upgrade insures school safety measures. “If we were in a situation where we had to do a lockdown, we definitely want that system working so everyone knows what’s going on.” The process, according to Russell, started over winter break, and is done by Beacon Communications, a district-approved outside contractor based in Englewood, Colorado.

The upgrade, though inconveniencing in the immediate term, will ultimately provide a greater array of functions to the school’s intercom system in addition to reaching the entire school. “I get the feeling that the different tones and sounds that we’ve heard may change with the upgrade. There may be different sounds that we may make use of on a daily basis,” Russell clarified.