Brandywine purchasing security for four buildings

Published 3:29 am Thursday, March 30, 2006

By By ANDY HAMILTON / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Brandywine Community Schools are getting an upgrade in security.
The school board approved the purchase of security equipment and monitoring devices at a cost of $19,942 from Riverside Fire and Safety in Kentwood at its board meeting this week.
The equipment will be installed in all four buildings in the district.
The effort is not in response to any specific event or problem, said Sue Furney, director of finance and operations. The system will give the administration the ability to keep track of who has access to the buildings, computer labs and media rooms when school is not in session.
Both Merritt and Brandywine elementary schools will have keypad systems placed on entrances to the buildings as well as on some inside doors, such as the office and media centers. Access to the secured doors after hours would only be available by entering a code, Furney said.
Devices to monitor for fires and boiler problems will also be installed at the elementary schools.
Furney said the system can notify personnel if a boiler shuts down while school is out of session and hopefully allow enough time for repairs. It's generally not a problem on a weekday night, but, Furney said, if a boiler fails on a Friday evening in the winter and no one is notified until Monday, it is likely school would have to be cancelled.
The middle and high schools will also have the same keypad system as the the elementary buildings, plus, two outside card readers on the main doors, which Furney said will allow administrators to assign cards to the appropriate employees who need access after hours.
The number of cards distributed will be determined by need and any lost card can simply be deactivated, Furney added.
The same system can also be programmed to unlock and lock the doors at certain times, similar to how a home heating system can be set, Furney said.
Entrances to computer labs, the office, media centers and band and shop rooms will also have keypad access.
Separate keypads will be installed for administration and adult education access at Bell Education Center as well, Furney said.
A meeting was held Wednesday with a project manager about getting the installation process in motion, Furney said.
The goal is to have everything working completely by the fall, Furney added.
The cost of the system will mostly be covered from the remaining bond money that was set aside for furniture and fixing other equipment, Furney said. The price to continuously monitor the system will be paid out of the general maintenance budget, Furney said.