Area Schools Apply For Security Grants

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Several Athens County school districts have applied for security-based grants through the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission.

Tom Gibbs, assistant superintendent of the Athens City School District, said the district applied for and has already received $35,000 in funding from OFCC, for door access control systems.

Funding for the project came initially from the district’s permanent improvement account, used for access controls for the main entryways at East and West Elementary Schools, Morrison-Gordon Elementary School, The Plains and Chauncey Elementary Schools, Athens Middle School, and Athens High School. The cost was $5,000 per unit, Gibbs said, and the money has been reimbursed by the OFCC.

“The actual costs of the total project for the District was about $190,000, as the District opted to have access controls placed at multiple entryways at each facility, as well as increasing the number of cameras at the entryways of each facility. The project is complete, (and) is being actively used at the facilities,” Gibbs said.

Jeff Cullum, superintendent of the Alexander Local School district, said that his district also received grant funding for door security upgrades, a total of $10,000 for its two buildings.

“We already had cameras, which we upgraded to high definition,” Cullum said, adding that the work has been completed at both buildings.

Federal Hocking Local School’s treasurer, Bruce Steenrod, said the district just learned Thursday that its grant application has been received and approved for funding. Federal Hocking will receive funding for door security upgrades in all four of its buildings, a total of $20,000.

Steenrod added that he isn’t sure when the work will be completed. He said the district has received a couple of quotes and is still in the process of deciding on a contractor.

An email from the OFCC media relations department indicated that Trimble Locals School District has also applied for a door security upgrade, but Trimble’s superintendent could not be reached for comment before the Messenger deadline.

As previously reported by the Messenger, Tri-County Career Center and Alexander Local School District also applied for OFCC grants to be used for Multi-Agency Radio Communications System (MARCS) radios.