Sumner Co. considers $2.7M in school safety upgrades - WSMV Channel 4

Sumner Co. considers $2.7M in school safety upgrades

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GALLATIN, TN (WSMV) -

After first pushing for more school resource officers, Sumner County is now moving forward with a second phase in its plan to keep its students safe.

This week, the school board gave the green light to a $2.7 million plan that would overhaul school safety measures.

"After what happened at Sandy Hook, we all started to reevaluate our school security and take a look at things that maybe had fallen through the cracks," said Jeremy Johnson, with Sumner County Schools.

According to the district's 10-week audit of all 45 Sumner County schools some campuses only need minor upgrades - new door locks and tinted windows - while others could need costly improvements.

"The main focus to these audits are upgrading our entrances. Most of our newer schools have entrances where there's the doors and you have to go through the office, and the office knows that you're there," Johnson said.

Many of the older schools don't have that feature, so it's one of many things the district hopes to change.

Other proposed safety improvements include upgraded camera systems, new phone systems and public address systems that could alert classes outside or students on the playground of a lockdown.

Board members gave the district the go-ahead to take bids for the work, but whether the board signs off on the improvement projects depends a lot on the final tally.

"We're going to try to do everything we can to get these upgrades in place as soon as possible," Johnson said.

The district hopes to have all the bids in place before the school board's next meeting April 16.

If approved, the work would begin this summer. If not, Johnson said the district may have to break the plan up into smaller projects.

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