FORT LORAMIE — Fort Loramie Local Schools has been approved for a $40,000 grant through the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation’s School Safety and Security Grant Program.
The SSSG Program, which is available only to Ohio employers that operate licensed preschool through 12th-grade educational facilities, aims to assist these employers in improving the safety of their staff and students.
Superintendent Dan Holland said he first learned of the opportunity eight weeks ago.
“I found out about it through the (Buckeye Association of School Administrators), did some research about it and decided to apply,” Holland said.
This is the first time Fort Loramie Local Schools has applied for this grant.
Holland said the grant will go toward the cost of improvements in security technology throughout the schools.
“We’re going to update all of our security cameras and add security cameras in both the elementary and high school buildings,” he said. “Additionally, we’re going to update all the software.”
Holland said software updates will allow school personnel to access live video feeds through their phones.
“We’ll also increase the amount of video storage and archive capability,” he said.
According to Holland, the district was already planning to update these security features in the near future.
“We knew that we needed to do an upgrade, so the timing was perfect,” he said. “I was in the process of getting quotes and a security camera audit to look at all the cameras.”
Holland said a security camera audit is completed in order to determine what improvements can be made. The audit will locate any dead spots in camera coverage. He added that after the updates, coverage will be at 100 percent.
In total, the proposed upgrades are estimated to cost between $57,000 and $60,000, Holland said.
Along with the BWC grant funding, the school will receive around $4,000 as part of a school safety training grant though the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
All Ohio public schools, chartered nonpublic schools and schools operated by county boards of developmental disabilities will receive $5.65 per student to spend toward school safety programs and training, according to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
This grant program was announced by then-Attorney General Mike DeWine in September of last year.
The remaining amount needed for the upgrades — about $13,000 — will come from the school’s general fund.
According to Holland, the district’s board of education had already passed a motion in November of last year, prior to approval of the BWC grant, to authorize the funding, in full, of new security cameras.
Holland said the opportunity for the grant money couldn’t have been more timely.
“I felt it was just meant to be,” he said.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4825.