Safety and security upgrades planned this year

Germantown discusses facilities study, maintenance projects

Oct. 16, 2013

Germantown — The Germantown School Board is working out the nuts and bolts of its capital improvement projects for the 2013-14 school year.

Safety and security are a top priority for district officials this year, according to a Building Committee update to the School Board on Monday.

The Building Committee at its Oct. 9 meeting approved a $90,000 fire alarm system at County Line Elementary, Director of Business Services Ric Ericksen said. This could be paid for out of Fund 41, the School District's capital improvement and facilities fund. There is $1 million sitting in Fund 41, which Germantown residents approved at the annual meeting in September. These funds can go toward any facility projects. There is also $174,000 from past bond issues leftover that has to be used specifically for safety, security or energy projects, including the fire alarm or camera systems, Ericksen said.

In addition, the Building Committee is discussing implementing security cameras in all of the elementary schools. Both items will be brought in front of the School Board for final approval.

Superintendent Jeff Holmes said research on the security cameras has begun as administration is looking for ideal placement in district buildings. An update will be brought to the board level.

Though there are no large projects planned for this year, there might be in coming years. A facilities study, conducted between the district and Plunkett Raysich Architects, is well under way. This week Holmes said a survey was sent out to staff district-wide, including coaches and curricular advisers. The hope is through the study the district can develop a game plan and prioritize larger projects, School Board President Bob Soderberg said.

He said he is looking forward to the results of the study so they can begin to tackle the myriad overcrowding issues affecting students. In some buildings, classes are being held in the hallways.

As far as tangible results for the coming year, students and parents can anticipate a new ticket booth at Datka Stadium. It should be constructed in time for track season. The cost for construction is roughly $15,000, which will be paid for mostly through donations, Ericksen said.

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