Schools may be seeing major improvements to security systems within the Newburgh Enlarged City School District under a proposed $3.6 million plan following a series of deadly school shootings.
Part of the district’s Smart Schools Investment Plan, the high-tech security blueprint was presented at a Newburgh Board of Education meeting on March 20. The plan details new security features such as surveillance cameras, alarms, card readers, intercoms, door locks, entryway security, wireless technology and communications systems. “We want everything to tie in together,” said district Systems Engineer Marc Bilyou. “We want everything centralized.”
Upgrades also include a visitor-management system, social-media monitoring and an automatic lockdown system capable of locking a school down from the click of a mouse, phone system or a hard-wired panic button.
“A lot of our systems are aging,” Bilyou said. “Our camera system is analog now. We’re looking to update that to an IP system and to further enhance the security system in the district.”
The proposal follows closely after a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 students and school staff were killed on Valentine’s Day. The shooting sparked nationwide protests, led by Parkland students demanding tighter gun control laws.
Another shooting at Great Mills High School in Lexington, Maryland, on March 20 resulted in the deaths of two students, including the 16-year-old shooter. In January, a 15-year-old student shot and killed two students at Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky. More than a dozen people were wounded.
According to the school district, the new high-tech security features are expected to cost a total of $3,567,985. The improvements would be paid for through almost $13 million in Smart Schools Bond Act funding. If approved, Long Island-based IntraLogic Solutions would carry out the work for the project.
A public hearing is scheduled for the proposal during the Newburgh BOE meeting on Tuesday, May 8. The board is expected to vote on the security plan that evening. For more information on the security-system proposal, visit Newburghschools.org.
By SHANTAL RILEY