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Guilford County Schools Gets $600,000 to Study Safety & Security Needs

The $600,000 will be taken out of the $10 million promised, leaving the district with $9.4 million for decided upon safety improvements.

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — The Guilford County Board of Commissioners granted $600,000 dollars to Guilford County Schools in order to conduct a security needs study.

The money was approved at a work session Thursday. 

The $600,000 is just a piece of the price tag the district is set to receive for safety and security improvements at all schools. 

RELATED: Board Requests $10 Million Dollar Transfer for Safety & Security Improvements at Guilford County Schools

County commissioners committed to $10 million dollars last year for safety and security improvements at GCS.  A formal request for that $10 million was made on September 10. 

Just shy of a month later, the district received a portion of that money. The $600,000 that will go toward a third-party company to conduct the study. 

"They voted to appropriate $600,000 dollars so that we could use that to do an Radio Frequency (RF) study for all of our buildings, so we could have a better feel for what we need when we create the communications design," GCS Chief Financial Officer Angie Henry said. "Also to go ahead and fund the design for the electronic surveillance, as well as the access controls so {the study} is a first step in the process."

The $600,000 will be taken out of the $10 million promised, leaving the district with $9.4 million for decided upon safety improvements. 

"The request we submitted was for door access controls, communication and electronic surveillance, those are the three categories we had requested the money be used for." 

There's no set timeline on when the study will be completed. Therefore, we don't know when the security improvements will be made. 

But overall, Henry says the study puts the district on the right track.

"I think we’re happy to have these dollars to get started to do what we need to do to make our schools more secure."

Guilford County Schools wants to implement the following:

  • Access control: Reduce the number of open exterior doors to as few as possible.
  • Electronic Surveillance: Upgrade existing standalone analog surveillance systems. Currently, there are about 60 elementary schools that don’t have surveillance cameras according to GCS.
  • Communications Systems: Staff is exploring a plan to contract with a radio vendor for a turnkey radio system that would help communication during incidents or emergencies. The radios would also give schools the capability of talking to law enforcement agencies through a common operating channel.
  • Fire Alarm and Intrusion Detection: Upgrade current fire life safety and intrusion detection systems. Provide enhanced coverage and monitoring to ensure appropriate personnel, agencies and resources are being notified during a fire or intrusion across the district 
  • Student ID Badges Photo and Card Print: Stations will significantly improve the time needed to print a badge onsite for a new student or lost ID badges for current students. Student ID badges were introduced during the 2018-19 school year and the district says they are important for student safety in identifying everyone on school campuses.

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