Dubuque Senior High School will unexpectedly become the first school in the district to implement the district’s new phone system following a lightning strike that took down the first system. The transition will take place this weekend.

The district was scheduled to begin implementation of the new system on September 28 in one of the district’s smaller elementary schools. After determining that the current equipment at Senior (scheduled to be placed in a matter of months anyway) would be costly to repair, staff instead began preparing to move directly into the new system to restore phone service in the building.

District technology staff will be working with Heartland Systems, the firm helping manage migration to the new system, to get Senior up-and-running on the new system this weekend.

“This decision allows us to avoid investing valuable taxpayer dollars into an ailing system that we would be phasing out in the months ahead anyway,” said Coby Culbertson, the district’s director of technology. “Instead, our team as well as staff from Heartland Systems are being flexible. Our plan is to get the new system online at Senior this weekend with service mostly restored by the start of school Monday morning.”

Culbertson notes that there will likely be some kinks to work out once the new system goes online, but taking this course of action is the most prudent option for the district.

“Mother nature decided to throw us a curveball,” said Culbertson, noting the damage from lighting was considered an Act of God and not covered in the system’s maintenance agreement. “Now, we are working to make the best of the situation we’ve been given. We will definitely learn a lot about the new system in a few short days.”