Northwood School District received $58,888 in the most recent round of school safety grants, announced Thursday, July 19, by Attorney General Brad Schimel. The school district in Minong was one of 89 schools that were awarded nearly $4 million through the School Safety Initiative.
The funds will be used to update the security system on the doors and add access points, add window film to the exterior of the main door and expand and upgrade the security camera system, including the DVR.
"Right now we have adequate coverage," said Lee Barrett, director of maintenance. The upgrade would bring that up to full coverage.
"The more you see, the better you feel," Barrett said.
Grant money will also be used to improve inter-building communications with new radios and replace playground fencing. Finance manager Audrey Bisger did all the grant writing in-house, so every penny will go toward security improvements, Barrett said.
The one-time safety grant comes at a good time for the district. Some of the items the grant covers were already slated to be tackled as part of the district's three-year budget, including the outdated door security system. Now, they can be fast-tracked at no cost to local taxpayers.
"It's very well-timed, as far as the district is concerned," Barrett said.
He expected many of the safety improvements will be complete by the beginning of the school year, with the rest being implemented as the year progresses.
A total of $100 million was made available to Wisconsin schools for building improvements and staff training through the School Safety Bill, which Gov. Scott Walker signed into law March 26.
Superior, Solon Springs and Maple school districts have also received school safety grants through the program.