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$4.2 Million Planned for Security Technology in New York School District

A mass notification, video surveillance and visitor badging system are among the tools that will be presented to the state Education Department for approval.

(TNS) — Lockport City Schools' plan to use Smart Schools Bond Act money on security upgrades for district schools and buildings will move forward.

No one spoke Wednesday night during a public hearing on the plan. Following the hearing, the district will submit the plan to the state Education Department in September for approval. No public referendum is needed.

The district received $4.2 million from New York as part of the state's initiative, which distributed $2 billion in grants to schools for technology and educational updates.

Lockport's proposed project will use about $3.9 million of the Smart Schools money. The rest can be put toward future projects in the district.

The project is expected to include updating secure vestibule windows at the schools which have vestibules. Bullet-proof teller-style windows will be added, too. The district's wireless network capabilities will be expanded to facilitate new security cameras.

Each school and the district office will be equipped with a new visitor badging system, which scans each visitor's driver's license and creates a temporary badge with their picture on it.

The school will be able to implement its own policy for visitors without driver's licenses, said Don Brown of ECC Technologies, the consultants working with the district on the project.

A mass notification system will be installed in every school except Lockport High School, which already has a system in place. The system will replace existing public address systems and will be capable of automatic lockdowns with automated announcements and dropping of fire doors in case of emergency.

Video surveillance systems capable of facial and object recognition will be added. The high-tech cameras will be able to identify weapons, as well as sex offenders or any unwanted persons on school grounds.

The district will be reimbursed for all of the expenses for the project through New York state, Assistant Superintendent Deborah Coder said.

The project is projected to be completed by September 2018.

"I know its a significant investment, but security is very important," board trustee John Craig said. "You can't bring people back."

©2016 the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal (Lockport, N.Y.), distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.