Information Technology Disaster Resource Center provides aid in St. Joseph County

CENTREVILLE — As COVID-19 continues to increase the demand for internet access, and the resources normally available to those without access to broadband internet at home are limited, partners throughout St. Joseph County are working with the Information Technology Disaster Resource Center (ITDRC) to establish public WiFi outdoor access points at 18 school buildings throughout the county.

ITDRC is a nationwide, volunteer driven 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides no cost Information, Communications, and Technology resources to communities in need. This initiative is in addition to resources available through individual school districts, and is open to both students and the general public.

“Internet access has been a vital component to the COVID-19 response and recovery efforts,” St. Joseph County Emergency Management Director Erin Goff said. “We are incredibly grateful for the opportunity afforded by ITDRC to have internet access points available in so many school locations.”

St. Joseph County Grant Writer James Hissong worked with St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Office — Emergency Management, St. Joseph County ISD, and Glen Oaks Community College to submit a joint application to ITDRC.

“This model is being used all across the country to assist with internet access during the coronavirus pandemic. The idea is to extend Wi-Fi networks from public facilities so that people can access the internet from the safety of their vehicles,” Hissong said.

Free public Wi-Fi networks can now be accessed in the parking lots of the following school buildings:

  • Centreville Jr/Sr. High School, 190 Hogan St. – Northeast corner of High School building
  • Colon Elementary School, 328 E. State St. – West side of Elementary building
  • Colon Jr/Sr. High School, 400 Dallas St – East side of High School building
  • Constantine Eastside Elementary School, 935 White Pigeon Rd. – South side of Elementary building
  • Constantine High School, 1 Falcon Dr. – East side of High School building
  • Glen Oaks Community College, 62249 Shimmel Rd. – West side of Student Residence Building
  • Leonidas Elementary School, 30945 Church St. – East side of Elementary building
  • Mendon Elementary School, 306 Lane St. – Northwest of Elementary building
  • Mendon Jr/Sr. High School, 148 Kirby Rd. – West side of building
  • Nottawa Community School, 26438 M-86 – Northeast corner of building
  • St. Joseph County Intermediate School District, 62445 Shimmel Rd. – South side of Administration Building
  • Sturgis Public School Central Commons, 107 W. West St. – South side of Administration Building
  • Sturgis Middle School, 1400 E. Lafayette St. – West side of building
  • Three Rivers Andrews Elementary, 200 S. Douglas Ave. – North side of Elementary building
  • Three Rivers High School, 700 Sixth Ave. – South side of High School building
  • Three Rivers Norton Elementary, 59692 Arthur L Jones Rd. – North side of Elementary building
  • Three Rivers Park Elementary, 53806 Wilbur Rd. – East side of Elementary building
  • White Pigeon Jr/Sr. High School, 410 Prairie Ave. – West side of High School (Near Gym)
  • White Pigeon Elementary School, 305 E. Hotchin Ave – Northwest corner of Elementary building

“We are grateful for the support of the ITRDC to install Wi-Fi access points for school parking lots to create access opportunities for families across the county,” Teresa Belote, St. Joseph County ISD Superintendent, said. “While schools have been and will continue to work on safe return plans for school this fall, this is another step forward in the ongoing efforts to improve access to additional resources.”

A map of public WiFi hotspots can be found at https://bit.ly/2ZbggD4.

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