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School security upgrades get final board approval



Lincoln Times-News


All Lincoln County schools will be outfitted with a range of security upgrades over the next few months, following unanimous Board of Education approval Tuesday night.

The action comes after several months of discussions due to heightened concerns about intruders in the wake of last year’s deadly attack at a school in Connecticut.

The move actually came in several separate votes reflecting the complicated nature of improving security at every school, with some facilities having different practical needs than others.

Nearly all schools will be receiving upgraded fire and security alarms. Doors will be fitted with security locks for employees to swipe ID cards to gain entry. Surveillance cameras will be posted at key locations throughout the schools.

At locations where it is practical, new security-lock doors equipped with buzzers will be used to regulate visitor access to the schools.

The costs for the alarm upgrades is estimated at about $167,000 based on bids received earlier. The surveillance cameras will cost just over $2,000 apiece. Final costs for the new doors and other additions remain to be determined based on a bidding process.

Officials said that once the bids are in and the permits are pulled, fixes could begin by mid-April, with all work likely completed in time for the start of the next school year.

Board members have previously indicated that they plan to pay for these upgrades out of excess school bond funds, so that no extra taxation will be needed to cover the security measures.

In other action at Tuesday’s meeting:

  • The board approved a Policy Committee recommendation for a the 2013-2014 calendar. Classes will start Aug. 26. Christmas break will begin Dec. 21 and students will not return to school until Jan. 6, 2014 Spring break will be April 21-25, 2014. The last day of school will be June 10, with graduation on June 14, 2014.
  • The board gave approval to several changes in the ongoing track repairs at Lincolnton and West Lincoln high schools.
  • The board accepted a budget committee recommendation to participate with matching funding in the federal E-Rate program. Member Bob Silver commented that this should help put advanced technology in the hands of students.
  • The board signed off on a plan to evaluate placement in advanced middle school programs differently for the upcoming school year because the End of Grade test scores normally used won’t be available until October.
  • Board members met for about 15 minutes in closed session but took no action. Acting board attorney Dean Shatley cited state statutes requiring closed sessions to protect the revelation of confidential personnel information and to protect the identity of a student.


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