MUSKEGON, MI: Muskegon County schools will improve the safety and security of students, staff and school buildings through the purchase of technology and equipment as recipients of $1,655,942 in competitive state grant funds offered up by the Michigan State Police (MSP). In Muskegon County nine local schools and the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District (MAISD) were among the 221 schools selected to earn a portion of the $25 million in Michigan’s 2019 Competitive School Safety Grant Program.
MAISD Superintendent John Severson said these funds, paired with the MAISD Technology and Security Enhancement Millage, play a critical role in improving school security and keeping students safe. “Our schools work closely with law enforcement, participate in security assessments and walkthroughs, and pay close attention to public safety recommendations. Providing a safe place for children to learn is our number one priority.”
Muskegon Catholic Central will receive $48,770; North Muskegon Public Schools $48,770; MAISD $146,311; Ravenna Public Schools $146,311; Reeths-Puffer Schools $243,852; Three Oaks Public School Academy $10,749; Orchard View Schools $158,585, and Whitehall District Schools $85,836. In addition, grants that require a 25% cash match by the receiving school were awarded to Fruitport Community Schools for $440,707 and Montague Area Public Schools for $326,051. All schools must follow strict requirements to receive the reimbursement-only grants and must complete their spending by June 1, 2020.
Grant applications were reviewed by a committee that included representatives from the Michigan State Police, Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, Michigan Sheriffs’ Association, Michigan Department of Education, Michigan Association of Non-Public Schools and other school safety professionals.
In total, Michigan schools applied for over $46 million in funding for security enhancements. Per the appropriation, priority was given to applicants who had not received school safety grant funds in the initial round of grant funding in 2015. In 2015, Muskegon Public Schools received an $80,000 grant and in 2018 Calvary Christian Schools, Ravenna Public Schools, Holton Public Schools, Mona Shores Public Schools, Muskegon Montessori Academy for Environmental Change, and Oakridge Public Schools received a total of $784,444 in safety grant dollars.
“We are fortunate in Muskegon County to have a unified Emergency Operations Plans developed collaboratively with first responders from multiple jurisdictions across Muskegon County,” said Severson. “These grant funds make our work together even better,” he added.
Fruitport Community Schools will purchase and install a wireless locking system so that every door in each building can be locked remotely with the push of a button in the event of a crisis. They will also install enhanced safety and security window film on high exposure windows in each building, and install signage to help first responders navigate through buildings in the event of a crisis or emergency.
Montague Area Public Schools will enhance secure access systems, public address systems, and upgrade exterior and interior doors.
Work at Muskegon Area ISD’s Wesley School, Career Tech Center, and the new Craig Transition Campus will include a panic alert system, more secure vestibules, enhanced safety and security window film, and replacement of interior and exterior doors, frames, and locks.
Muskegon Catholic Central will upgrade its Access Control Software. Current door controllers and strikes will be replaced to work with the new software. Additional controllers, both inside and outside of the building, will be added to the system. Signage numbering all exterior doors will be installed. Also, barricade safety devices will be purchased for interior door safety.
North Muskegon Public Schools will be improving safety measures at all exterior entrances through implementation of enhanced safety and security window dressing and door safety barriers, updating the public address system throughout the district, and streamlining facility camera system accessibility with local law enforcement.
Orchard View Schools will address interior and exterior windows with enhanced safety and security window film, update the internal communications system at the middle school and upgrade interior doors as needed throughout the district.
Ravenna Public Schools will install panic buttons in all district offices along with new electronic notification displays in all large-group spaces. They will also add enhanced safety and security window film to entry doors and add secure buzz-in systems at their elementary and middle school buildings. Door hardware and locks will be upgraded to be more secure per police recommendations. District signage will be added to all exterior doors as well.
Reeths-Puffer Schools will augment interior window security with enhanced safety and security window film, and improve internal and external emergency communications with inter-connected technology applications.
Three Oaks Public School Academy will enhance secure access systems to interior and exterior doors with keyless entry swipe systems throughout the building, install motion lights at entrance doors, and improve mobile communication with portable classrooms.
Whitehall District Schools will enhance secure access systems to interior and exterior doors, improve and upgrade security cameras in each building, and improve remote entry systems.