Lakeway Christian Schools, a three-school system, has provided faith-based and Christ-centered education since 1973. Most recently, Lakeway Christian Academy was founded, and a new building and campus constructed. The new school will house 6th through 12th grades and has a conceptual design for up-to 1800 students.
In 2018, David Fox joined Lakeway Christian Schools just as the new building / campus construction was in full swing. David and I worked together at Networks, Inc., a Chattanooga-based consultancy, back in 2000. We have known one another for many years. We had not seen each other in years after I left Networks. About 7-8 years ago, we met again at the Hartsfield International Airport and continued to run into each other in various airports. We reignited our friendship and eventually our partnership. Conversant Group’s first project with David was in Minden, Louisiana in 2014; he has been a friend of Conversant Group ever since.
Shortly after he arrived at Lakeway, he called to tell me about the new opportunity there. We arranged a meeting, and he introduced me to Dr. Robert Brown. Over the next several months, we continued to talk and develop technical plans for the new school as the construction progressed. David, Brandon Killion, Tyler West, the Cisco account team, the Fortinet account team, and I developed all the BOMs to complete our joint design.
In July 2019, Conversant Group and Lakeway Christian embarked on the final design of a new Cisco Meraki-based switch and wireless network, along with necessary mitigating security digital controls. Due to the need for wireless voice communications, heavily populated wireless usage concentration points, and extensive security, the design required 175 access points. Over the next several months as construction of the new school was approaching completion, Conversant Group worked alongside David to implement all switching, wireless, and connectivity.
It is impressive what Lakeway Christian Schools has invested to provide an exceptional educational experience for its students. When I asked the project’s firewall engineer, Brandon Killion, what he thought about the project, he said:
We deployed over 150 access points. It’s truly impressive what has been invested in technology and recreational sports for students and families. They have some very impressive basketball courts [multiple] and a massive football stadium. They have studio and recording equipment to live stream the games. You do not invest like this unless you truly care about the community!
On March 23rd, we received this e-mail from David:
John, Brandon, Jim:
Due to the current Covid-19 protocols in place for Lakeway, we will need to take a 14-day break from any new configurations or changes. As of now, all of our students and teachers have transferred to full on-line MS Teams classroom environment. Our admin staff are also fully remote using the VPN.
So, go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back, because without Conversant Group, this would not be possible. We are only one of very few schools in the entire state that can say we are fully operational (remotely) right now [this quickly].
Thank you for all you guys do.
With the enormity of this network, it was truly an exciting project to do, and we are proud to be a small part of bringing an outstanding educational experience to Morristown, TN/White Pine, TN students and families.