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Oldham Co. schools to get security upgrades

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Superintendent: Measures not ‘knee-jerk reaction’ to recent school violence

By Drew Nichter

Oldham County Schools will spend more than $1.5 million to beef up security at all of its facilities.

The upgrades were unanimously approved by the Board of Education late last month.

The bulk of the money will be used to add or enhance security measures at the district’s 18 school buildings.

Upgrades include interior and exterior video surveillance; electronically secured entrances; access control entry systems; exterior door positioning switches; intercoms for visitor entry; and an emergency dispatch alert system.

Other school district facilities will get various levels of security updates, including the Arvin Education Center, Oldham County Schools Arts Center, central office, administrative annex, bus compound and grounds shop.

Superintendent Will Wells first presented the district-wide security improvement project to the school board in late February, little more than two months after the murder of 20 students and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.

At the April 29 school board meeting,Wells insisted the security improvements are not a “knee-jerk reaction” to that shooting or other school tragedies.

“This is a well-thought-out, reasoned program,” he told board members.

School officials say the project will cost between $1.5 and $1.7 million.

The district will spend more than $850,000 on video surveillance alone.

Video systems will be installed at all 10 elementary schools. Existing video surveillance at the middle and high schools will be upgraded.

The district now must choose a vendor for the job and get project approval from the Kentucky Department of Education.

The project is expected to be completed by the start of next school year.

Email us about this story at: drew@oldhamera.com.