Board OKs more school security ‘enhancements’
Published 4:23 pm, Tuesday, June 16, 2015
The money approved by the board Monday would be used for installation of cameras with DVR capability in critical internal and external areas at a cost of $500,000; the installation of reinforced bollards outside school buildings at a cost of $125,000; blinds and shades on classrooms, non-classroom areas and certain exterior doors at a cost of $80,000, and $60,000 for vestibule enhancements, according to Longo.
Longo said the money would come from the “end-of-year fund balance projection in the amount of $917,967,” that includes funds from several school board accounts, including regular teacher salaries, unemployment compensation and public and private tuitions.
“This is consistent with the recommendations of the Kroll report,” said Superintendent of Schools Elliot Landon, referring to a security audit conducted by Kroll Inc., a consulting firm hired to assess local school security following the massacre of 20 children and six adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012.
“This began out of the Newtown tragedy,” said Michael Gordon, board chairman. He said local school officials began considering upgrades three days after it happened.
“I certainly support this — our children will be safer,” said board member Paul Block, noting about “$1 million or so” has already been spent on upgrading security at all eight of the town’s schools. “This closes the loop,” he added.
A plus, Longo noted, is that school officials did’t have to go to the town’s funding bodies to ask for extra money for the projects as they did in the past.
Projects funded previously by the town include a mass communication system and portable, digital two-way radios costing $743,114; $500,000 to install protective film over school widows, and $200,000 for high-security interior door locks.
Board member Mark Mathias asked if there would be any reimbursement on any of the latest costs. Longo said officials might be able to get a rebate on the security cameras, about 21 cents to the dollar, but wasn’t sure.