Wichita Board of Education approves $3 million in security upgrades

Locked school doors

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WICHITA, Kansas Wichita school board leader approved $3 million in security upgrades Monday night,  but planning for this actually started almost a year ago.

Supporters say the improvements are needed to keep up with advanced technology and to ensure students stay safe.

Many Wichita parents we talked with Monday afternoon say they haven’t heard of the district’s proposal to upgrade its security system, but liked the idea for security improvements.

“I think it’s a good thing, but I think it’s sad that our kids have to go through this,” said Haley Bills, Wichita parent. “When we were little children once and we didn’t worry about those things,  but unfortunately if we don’t do those sort of things, then who knows what could happen next.”

Board members voted unanimously to approve upgrading the district’s current security system Monday night.

“Cameras have improve drastically from analog to digital,” said Superintendent John Allison, Wichita Public Schools. “There’s just a great deal and more functionality we will have with the system.”

The $3 million dollar upgrade will include high resolution surveillance cameras, additional cameras, and even change to the way staff and visitors enter school building.

“We needed a solution that could utilize and leverage our network that is fiscally complaint which is very important,” said Allison.

$2.3 million was set aside in planned funding last year for the upgrades.

Supporters say, it’s an upgrade that will not only keep USD 259 update with technology, but it will also reassure parents that the safety of their child is in good hands.

“From our surveys over 90% of parents feel the same way,” said Allison. “We want to maintain that and that’s where we start with having a positive education environment as well.”

Superintendent Allison says upgrading the security system isn’t going to happen over night.

We’re told it’s going to take some time in the case of  upgrading the door system.

Allison says, the district still needs to do some building assessments to see what improvements still needs to be made for each building.

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