The school district of Holmen in Wisconsin is planning for some major security upgrades beginning this summer. After several months of community information sessions and industry review regarding safety and security districtwide, a referendum passed in April awarding the district $3 million to use toward updates that would heighten security in the buildings.
In an effort to make school safer for students and staff, the Holmen school district put forth Referendum 2017, which included for some 70% of funds going toward security. Voters in the district showed strong support for the security measures and awarded the district $3 million to use toward surveillance cameras, controlled entrances, and door-locking systems.
The 2-year schedule gets underway this summer to install door-locking systems at the district office, Holmen Middle School, and Holmen High School.
The need for the Holmen school district to heighten security is identified in a safety and security review that recommended constructing two-stage, controlled entry into buildings and improving door-locking and security surveillance systems throughout Holmen’s elementary, middle, and high schools.
As part of a proactive measure, the district invited the Wisconsin School Safety Coordinators Association (WSSCA) to complete a building-by-building school safety and security review. The WSSCA is a state and nationally recognized authority on school safety.
The WSSCA report outlined a number of improvements, and voter support of Holmen’s school safety referendum is allowing the district to achieve best practice standards for school safety and security, according to Kristin A. Mueller, PhD, district administrator.
Security cameras in the building are old. “Cameras have definitely improved over time,” said Mueller. The newer cameras will allow for better visibility, she says.
The two-stage access control systems at the entrances of the schools allow the doors to lock and unlock automatically on a schedule. Staff and building users will be issued a key fob or a card credential. The system keeps a log of persons going through the entrances. Door sensors are also being added to alert someone in the office if the doors are propped open or not latched properly.
The security upgrades will be taking place in all of the buildings between Summer 2017 and Summer 2019, according to the official district timeline:
- Summer 2017: Door-locking systems will be installed at district office, Holmen Middle School, and Holmen High School.
- Fall 2017: Security cameras and system will be installed at the Holmen Middle School and Holmen High School. This infrastructure will allow local emergency authorities remote access to the footage.
- Spring 2018: The redesigning of main entrances will begin at Holmen Middle School and Holmen High School. This project will include a two-stage controlled entry.
- Summer 2018: Door-locking systems will be installed at Viking, Evergreen, and Sand Lake Elementary schools, Academy on the Prairie, and TMT building. Prairie View Elementary already has this in place.
- Summer 2018: Security cameras and system will be installed at Viking, Evergreen, and Sand Lake Elementary schools. Prairie View Elementary will upgrade its cameras already in place. This infrastructure will allow local emergency authorities remote access to footage.
- Summer 2019: The redesigning of main entrances will begin at Viking, Evergreen, and Sand Lake Elementary schools. This project will include a two-stage controlled entry.
These security improvements are part of Referendum 2017. The $3 million will allow the district to achieve best practice standards for school safety and security.