St. Joseph schools to update surveillance coverage

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

ST. JOSEPH — The St. Joseph school board is expanding surveillance camera coverage in all of its buildings this fall.

At a Tuesday board of education meeting, trustees agreed to pay about $119,000 to upgrade the district’s surveillance camera system. Presidio, a security system supply company in Caledonia, Mich., won the bid.

Superintendent Ann Cardon said the total recommended awards from security enhancement bids came in under projections by about $16,000. The district received three bids.

“The technology department discovered over time where they needed new cameras,” Cardon said. “The total recommended awards are $16,000 less than what we originally projected when we were putting the bond together back in February.”

While the surveillance camera systems will be upgraded in every building, Cardon said transportation will not be included in camera enhancements yet.

Cardon was referring to the security cameras on the three new buses the district recently bought with bond proceeds. The entire board was able to see one of the new buses up close Monday at the beginning of the meeting.

Kathy Hamilton, the district’s chief financial officer, said when the bond was being discussed, each building was evaluated and various staff and administrators were consulted on what the district was missing for surveillance.

Door access

The school board agreed to pay about $65,500 for a door access control system from a company in Belmont.

Bryan Parsons, director of technology for the school district, said they are adding access control to each elementary school building and enhancing the access control systems at the high school and middle school.

Access to all school buildings in the district will be controlled by card access, removing the need to hand out keys to enter buildings.

By doing so, the district will not only control hours of entry, but what specific doors can be used. Through the access system, doors can be electronically locked or unlocked in case of emergency.

“It gives us a lot of flexibility on who can access the building,” Parsons said. “…These investments in updated security measures will help to ensure the safety of our St. Joe Bear families.”

The school board will next meet for a study session scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 12 at the North Lincoln Administration building.

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Aug. 18, 2016)
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