The Franklin News-Post|
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Dr. Mark Church
Friday, August 16, 2013
By STACEY HAIRSTON - Staff Writer
Upgraded security and cameras in Franklin County schools are the priority this year as the Franklin County School Board approved a list of capital projects Monday night.
Capital projects will total an estimated $1.6 million this school year, with safety and security upgrades at county schools costing $265,500.
"The extra money we received from the board of supervisors has certainly helped us to make our schools more secure," said Dr. Mark Church, school superintendent. "We are definitely better off that we were just last year."
All elementary schools in the county as well as the Gereau Center and Benjamin Franklin Middle School have new buzzer systems on doors, allowing school personnel to see who is at the door before allowing the person entrance to the school, Church said.
A similar system is in the works for the high school.
"We are working on cameras for all county schools," he added.
Digital HD cameras with high resolution are being installed inside and outside school buildings.
"The high resolution has allowed us to see and hear better," said Church. "The police can tap right into these cameras from their computers, and so can I. It is very helpful that we can do all this from our computers."
All mobile units have already been equipped with automatic door-locking systems and cameras have been installed in all county buses, he added.
The school system has taken additional security measures in that teachers are now asked to keep their classroom doors locked and to use newly installed peep holes before allowing anyone entrance into the classrooms.
Other capital projects scheduled in Franklin County schools this year include a new roof for Boones Mill Elementary ($44,700), new gym floors for Benjamin Franklin Middle School and Franklin County High School ($306,600), asbestos removal and floor tile replacement ($53,400) and four paving projects at BFMS ($541,100).
Also scheduled are water system upgrades at Callaway, Sontag and Dudley elementary schools ($290,000) and various plumbing fixture upgrades ($117,600).
Over the next five years, additional projects will be scheduled as the need for new roofs at Dudley, Sontag and Rocky Mount Elementary Schools draws near.
The installation of air conditioning in the cafeterias of Lee Waid and Snow Creek elementary schools is also being planned, as well as the replacement of six unit ventilators at Burnt Chimney Elementary and the installation of central station smoke detectors in all county schools.