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CRESTWOOD, KY (WDRB) -- Oldham County's school superintendent is pushing for increased security upgrades that could cost the district between $1.5 and $1.75 million.
Dr. William Wells says the proposal seeks to add "buzz-in" security locks at all 20 buildings - including 17 schools - increased video surveillance, a direct link to the county's dispatch center and possibly panic alarms district wide.
The increased security measures grew out of community meetings weeks after the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut that rocked the nation and renewed deep conversations about how best to protect students and teachers.
"So, a million dollars - over a million dollars - we take that very seriously. But when you look at student safety and staff safety we think it's a wise investment," said Wells in an interview with WDRB News.
Alaniey Arvin, a sixth grader at South Oldham Middle School, said her teachers held discussions with her class following the shooting in Newtown. "I like the feeling to where I know that I'm protected because all the shootings and stuff kind of scared me. Once I learned how safe our school was it kinda made me feel a lot better," Arvin said.
Currently, the aiphone system at South Oldham Middle School requires all visitors to buzz in before they're allowed access through a locked door. Doing so also allows the front office staff to see the visitors on a video camera system.
Part of the upgraded security plan would include adding aiphone systems at schools like Crestwood Elementary, North Oldham Middle and High Schools -- along with increased video surveillance and panic alarms district wide.
"Student safety is our number one priority and we are always re-evaluating our processes to make sure our students and families are safe," said Wells.
Superintendent William Wells says many of the upgrades could be completed over the summer. The plan would first need the school board's approval..
"I think it's a good idea that they are trying to keep all the students safe," said Arvin.
The school board took no action Monday but proposed further discussion during a meeting next week. Wells said he thinks issuing a bond would be the best route for financing the project.