By: Meredith Baker | Email: Click Here
Posted: December 14, 2018 | 12:30 p.m.
PRINCE GEORGE – Prince George County Public Schools is receiving a $35,696 state grant to put towards security upgrades at Walton Elementary.
The grant is contingent on the allocation of a 25 percent local match, bringing the total amount to be spent at Walton up to $44,620. John Brockwell, the director of technology, research, and planning, said the division applied for the maximum grant of $100,000 to be spent at both Walton and Beazley Elementary, but the grant is competitive, and only Walton received the award.
Brockwell said that he had assistance from a consultant in determining projects that would improve the school’s security. The preliminary plan was to use the funding to replace the glass in some windows, add ballistic film to other windows, and install electronic access controls on certain doors.
“On the shared buildings that people come in and out of and therefore doors are left unlocked, I propose that we go ahead and put electronic access controls so the doors can remain locked and teachers can swipe and get in and have the access that they need,” Brockwell said.
Another potential security upgrade is the installation of connecting doors. Director of Operations Ron Rhodes said that he looked into the possibility of putting in sixteen metal doors that could be locked from both sides, but that installation would require cutting holes in the walls, and the cost of the project would be upwards of $21,000.
Brockwell said the funds can only be used for certain types of projects, but they can be used for projects other than those mentioned in the grant application.
“If we decide that we want to change what we’re doing, the only thing we can’t change is that it has to be spent at Walton,” Brockwell said.
Over 600 students attend Walton Elementary, which is one of the two elementary schools the division is planning to replace in the near future. The division will be putting together a list of potential upgrades for the school board to review at the December meeting.