TPS School Board Approves Over $800,000 For Security Upgrades

Monday, August 19th 2013, 10:58 pm
By: News On 6

Recent school shootings have Tulsa Public Schools beefing up security. The school board signed off Monday on more than $800,000 in security upgrades for 14 schools.

This is existing money that was appropriated back in 2010 to install card access equipment and surveillance cameras.

"After the Sandy Hook incident we expedited this whole process," said the district's police chief, Gary Rudick.

The school board approved more security improvements at several school buildings.

"It's to limit access to the building to those only with real business there. We don't want strangers walking into a building," said Bob LaBass, director of bond projects for TPS.

5/14/2013 Related Story: Voters Approve $38 Million For Computers, Security Cameras For TPS

LaBass said the district was working three years ago from the top to bottom, upgrading school security systems.

"Our big concerns, initially, were high schools. That's where we have a lot of problems with people being there that should not be there," LaBass said.

The focus is to now get elementary schools and other district buildings secured.

"We've had a menagerie of camera systems out there, so this will put them all under one system," LaBass said.

Every camera in every building can be monitored from the district's headquarters. There is room is setup like a 911 Dispatch Center, where campus security can see just about every classroom.

"You'll see more and more changes at the elementary level, where someone comes to the school and they can't just walk into the building," Rudick said.

See the agenda for the 8/19/2013 school board meeting

Funds for security upgrades were approved for the following schools:

• Bunche ECDC - $43,065.33

• Clinton Middle School - $95,910.16

• Disney Elementary - $67,836.98

• Grimes Elementary - $52,950.60

• Grissom Elementary - $64,276.76

• Lee Elementary - $62,874.62

• Peary Elementary - $56,459.84

• Porter ECDC - $31,443.83

• Reed ECDC - $65,577.30

• Robertson Elementary - $59,474.68

• Salk Elementary - $66,637.56

• Springdale Elementary - $48,471.96

• Traice Elementary - $75,754.01

• Wright Elementary - $70,991.84

The school board also approved $20,000 in contingency funds.

School officials hope to make the upgrades by the end of the year. That's two years ahead of schedule.

Also Monday, the school board OK'd a plan to give TPS employees (certified teachers, certified administrators, non-certified administrators and support staff) a 1.5 percent raise.

The district hopes it makes up for past years when salaries were frozen.