Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

May 12, 2013

Safety chance

Proposed capital project up for May 21 vote contains security upgrades

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Lockport City Schools was considering another capital project, one that involved some security upgrades.

Then the Newtown, Conn. shootings took place in December. An outside agency, Corporate Consultants of Orchard Park, evaluated the security systems at each Lockport City School building.

The report said changes needed to be made.

“We thought we were on the right track, but when we looked at this evaluation, we had to go further,” said Board of Education Trustee Thomas Fiegl. Fiegl chairs the board’s facilities committee.

So, along with a budget and a school board election, voters will be asked to consider a $22.1 million capital improvement project on May 21.

About $1.8 million of the proposed project will go toward security upgrades. The $1.8 million portion will be fully covered by Albany, a result of the state’s promise to add 10 cents per dollar in reimbursement rates for school security improvements.

For Lockport that promise means an eight-cent increase to 100 percent coverage for the security upgrades. 

Roughly 92 percent of the total project cost will be covered by state building aid with the rest, about $3.1 million, will come from the Lockport district’s capital reserve, meaning no additional tax impact on residents.

“The way of the world has dictated this security thing, it’s pushed everybody to a high alert level,” Fiegl said. “All the things that could happen... you’re trying to cover all your bases. But it’s very expensive.”

The security upgrades will touch each of the district’s buildings. A major aspect of those upgrades is improving the main entrances to a few of the schools.

Deborah Coder, Lockport’s assistant superintendent for finance, said for example, Lockport High School needs some physical work on its Lincoln Avenue entrance, as does Roy B. Kelley Elementary.

At both of those schools, the main entrance would be redone as part of the project, Coder said.

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