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Tech Park Approves 1Gb Internet Contract, Buys Furniture

2 min read

The Little Rock Technology Park Authority Board on Wednesday approved the purchase of furniture and audio-visual equipment and approved a five-year contract with Ritter Communications of Jonesboro for 1-gigabit broadband internet. 

The monthly charge for the service that offers upload and download speeds of 1 gigabit per sec (Gbps) is $1,099.95. The annual cost is $13,199.40. The park will also pay a one-time installation fee of $399.95.

The contract was approved contingent upon a slight change in wording and the addition of the quoted price for 10-gigabit internet in case the park upgrades to faster speeds later. Ritter’s quote for 10-gigabit internet was $7,999.95 per month, or $95,999.40 per year.

The board also agreed to pay Evo Business Environments Inc. of Little Rock up to $228,938.42, which includes an installation fee of $9,000, for Herman Miller furniture. The goods come with a 12-year warranty, and Evo offers a three-year warranty on fabrics.

Executive Director Brent Birch recommended Evo over six others who submitted bids ranging from $174,644.89 to $408,402.50, including installation fees.

He said he tried out all of the furniture and found that Evo offered the best price for the best-looking pieces. He said it was “very trendy, very cool looking stuff.”

Birch also said Evo expressed a genuine interest in the park, had demonstrated a dedication to downtown revitalization, offered creative layouts and configurations and had strong references.

The board also approved, as recommended by Birch, the purchasing of audio-visual equipment from Advanced Cabling Systems of North Little Rock.

The total price quoted was $92,540.30, which includes $15,085.85 for installation.

Advanced submitted the second lowest of four the park received, but Birch told the board it had the most intuitive, administration-friendly platform.

The bids, including installation fees, ranged from $87,393.61 to $183,452.62.

In other business, Birch gave an update on construction.

He said the asbestos abatement and remediation of 415 Main St. would be finished early this month. After that, crews will do some internal demolition work to prep for a fire stair buildout and open up some of the space to better suit the park’s plans, Birch told Arkansas Business.

The elevator shaft and stairwell have been removed at 417 Main St., drywall framers begin working on it this week and engineers are looking at options for connecting 415 and 417 Main St., Birch said.

He also told the board that 114 Capitol Ave. had been demolished, although the site has gravel on it now because it has not been paved yet.

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