State, city funds to upgrade Shelton elementary school security

Shelton will receive $168,537 in state funding to improve security in its schools.

The state money will be combined with almost $299,000 in city funds to make about $467,000 of upgrades in the five elementary schools.

New state-of-the-art security surveillance systems will be installed at the schools with the funds. The web-based systems will provide 360-degree views of the building’s exteriors as well as driveway entrances, and also offer interior surveillance.

“This is one important piece to upgrade infrastructure within our district, especially at our older elementary schools,” School Supt. Freeman Burr said.

The work will take place at Booth Hill, Elizabeth Shelton, Long Hill, Mohegan and Sunnyside schools, all of which serve kindergarten to fourth-grade students.

In response to Sandy Hook

Many school districts, especially in Connecticut, are making similar types of improvements based on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last December that led to the death of 26 students and educators.

Burr said the work is part of “a combined effort between the city of Shelton and the Board of Education to improve the security at each of our school facilities.”

He said it will be up to the city to decide how to move forward with finding a contractor. Possibilities include hiring one vendor through a no-bid process or the regular bidding process, or perhaps using a multi-bid process due to all the schools involved.

Burr said the city essentially has the bid specifications ready for the project based on having to put together the state grant application.

Malloy: ‘Make schools safer’

The grant funds for Shelton are part of $5 million the state will give to 169 schools in 36 education districts as reimbursement for security infrastructure improvements.

“This funding allows districts with the most need to implement modern security measures that will make schools safer,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said.

The state received 111 applications for proposed infrastructure projects in 604 school buildings, consisting of the installation of surveillance cameras, bulletproof glass, electric locks, buzzer and card entry systems, and panic alarms.

A school security assessment survey conducted by each local school district that applied.

Perillo calls funds ‘essential’ for project

State Rep. Jason Perillo of Shelton praised the state funding announcement, noting the city was required to provide its own money as well.

“These funds are essential to providing adequate security measures to protect our students and our educators,” Perillo said. “I want to thank our local leaders for dedicating the resources needed to ensure that our schools are safe.”

First round

The funds are part of the first round of the state’s Competitive Grant Program for school security, part of the Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety Act.

“After the horrific events on Dec. 14, Connecticut cities and towns moved swiftly to improve security infrastructures at schools in need,” Malloy said. “We will never be able to prevent every random act, but we can take the steps necessary to make sure that our children and our teachers are as safe as possible.”

Each municipality will be reimbursed between 20% and 80%, according to town wealth, as defined in a section of state law.

The state reimbursement rate in Shelton for the security enhancements is more than 35%, according to Burr.