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St. Charles School District Plans to Install New Security Measures

District may put bond issue before voters to pay for more than $2.5 million in security improvements and other construction projects.

The district has identified $2.5 million in security upgrades that are needed across the district, including installing an alarm system to the front door of each building, electronic locks and a card entry system. 

Following the shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, CT on Friday, Superintendent Jeff Marion posted an update online with information about the district's current security measures and plans for improvement. 

Marion reassured parents that the district staff has had training for situations involving an intruder or an active shooter in the schools. In addition, all schools lock exterior doors during the school day except for the front door. 

Individual classroom doors also have intruder locks to allow teachers to quickly lock their doors. 

"I have asked all staff members to review emergency plans once again and be prepared to discuss with students," he wrote in a memo. "I have also emphasized the shared responsibility we have to monitor who is in our schools at all times. You can help by following the prescribed visitor procedures in place at your child’s school."

The day before the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Charles Brazeale, director of business and technology presented a list of $2.5 million in security upgrades the district would like to make.  

"Some schools have no ability to observe the front door until someone is well into the building," Brazeale said. "Intruder alarm systems are needed, not all of the schools have them."

In addition, Brazeale said the district would like to add additional interior and exterior cameras at various places including the maintenance and transportation buildings. 

The security upgrades are a portion of nearly $12 million in improvements needed in the district which could be paid for with a bond issue.

The St. Charles Board of Education on Dec. 10 discussed the possibility of putting a bond issue on the April 2014 ballot. 

Several board members asked about the possibility of putting the issue before voters as soon as this spring, but Superintendent Jeff Marion said that might be too soon.

Among the proposed security upgrades are:

  • Address security of the concession area at St. Charles High School
  • Installing a door to the office of Judy Dietrich, secretary at St. Charles High School. 
  • Moving bus drop off and pick up at St. Charles High School to Waverly.
  • Installing intruder locks on four office doors at Hardin Middle School. (Est. cost: $1,500).
  • Reconfigure office for new windows and doors at Monroe Elementary School. (Est. cost: $30,000). 
  • Add lighting at the back of Harris Elementary School. (Est. cost: $1,000)
  • Replace intercom at Lincoln Elementary School.
  • Install an exterior intercom at all buildings. (Est. cost: $60,000). 
  • Standardize the fire alarm system at all buildings. 
  • Install key control system in all buildings. 
  • Add an alarm system at each front door with electronic locks. (Est. cost: $250,000). 
  • Add centralized and standardized intruder alarm system in all buildings. 
  • Add additional interior/exterior cameras. (Est. cost: $500,000).
  • Add standardized intercom and phone systems in all buildings. 
  • Add access control system, such as a card entry, in all buildings. 

Other items that could be addressed with a bond issue:

  • $2.64 million for heating, ventilation and air conditioning units at Hardin, Blackhurst, Jefferson, the breezeway at Coverdell, Lincoln, and Harris
  • $1 million for roof replacements at St. Charles High, St. Charles West and the Success campus.
  • $1.6 million for tuck pointing and waterproofing at most district schools.
  • $1.1 million for asphalt projects at several schools.
  • $710,000 for asbestos tile removal from Hardin Middle School, Jefferson Intermediate School, elementary buildings.
  • $400,000 for gym bleachers at St. Charles High and St. Charles West 
  • $100,000 to replace the press box at St. Charles High
  • $235,000 to replace the track at St. Charles West 
  • $100,000 to replace the football stadium and baseball locker rooms.
  • Cost unknown for building additions at Lewis and Clark Career Center, Monroe Elementary and Coverdell Elementary.
  • Cost unknown to lease/purchase a facility for transportation fleet and the fleet itself. 

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