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Dover Post
  • Caesar Rodney School District makes security upgrades

  • The Caesar Rodney School District a few weeks ago completed a series of security upgrades that level the playing field for district security standards.
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  • The Caesar Rodney School District a few weeks ago completed a series of security upgrades that level the playing field for district security standards.
    Previously each school in the district had slightly different security outfits. While some buildings utilized card readers that staff could use to access the school, others didn’t. Some schools had more hardware on their doors than others.
    An effort to ensure that all schools within the district are fitted with standard security measures is now complete.
    “It was one of our top priorities to make our schools safer and our students and teachers safer,” said Dan Farley, director of support services for the district. “As much as anything, this came from an awareness of everything that happened with Sandy Hook and everything going on. We had to look ourselves in the mirror and decided we have to do things.”
    Upgrades involved installing card readers at all the school buildings so that teachers can get into buildings using their ID badges rather than keys. The district also created and implemented a standard for security cameras so that security cameras were installed at key locations in each of the 13 schools.
    Fifer Middle School was in need of the most upgrades. The school had new hardware added to exterior doors to make them more secure, safety film was added to the windows that look into the office so that the glass won’t shatter as easily and walkie-talkies were upgraded, Farley said.
    “There was limited funding so we could only do so much at a given point in time,” Farley said. “As it turned out, Fifer was just the last on the list over the past several years. I can’t speak to why they were the last, but someone had to be. They got the latest and greatest technology, so there are benefits in being the last to go.”
    The total price for the upgrades across the district was roughly $250,000, he said. The cost was offset by $70,000, which was reimbursed to the district through a program called Demand Response.
    The remaining $180,000 needed to cover the cost of the upgrades came from various department budgets. Some of the funding came from the minor capital budget, while a segment was reallocated from the technology department budget. Another portion came from the facilities management department budget.
    “This is something that was in the works, we just had to find the money,” Fitzgerald said. “It was a priority for us, so we made sure we had the funds to make the improvements. We still have more improvements we’d like to make.
    “We have a wish list of things, but we’ve taken some positive strides toward improving our buildings that had not undergone renovations in the last three to five years.”
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