On November 19, 2013 district voters, approved the $14.5 million Safety, Security and Health Bond proposition that includes the addition of a wide range of safety and security items throughout the district's schools. The vote was YES-704 to NO-378.
Safety, Security and Health Bond Vote November 19, 2013
On Tuesday, November 19, 2013, the Lakeland Central School District community will be asked to consider an approximate $14.5 million Safety, Security and Health Bond proposition that would include the addition of a wide range of safety and security items throughout the district’s schools.
New York State is currently offering the district 59.7% state aid which will reduce the direct cost of the project to the Lakeland community. On a home valued at $300,000, there would be no cost in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years. In 2015-16 it would be $51 per year and that would go to $39 per year in 2016-17 and beyond.
The voting will take place from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm at Van Cortlandtville Elementary School, 3100 East Main Street, Mohegan Lake.
During the past year, the Lakeland Central School District has been reviewing the safety and security of all buildings. Following the tragic events in Connecticut last year, district staff began meetings with members of area police departments, the district’s architects, and our insurance provider, to review the safety and security throughout the district.
Following meetings with these groups, the Board of Education’s Construction Committee and administration met to develop a plan with several primary goals, including:
Increasing site security
Securing the building perimeter
Securing the interior during incidents
Enhancing communications districtwide
Addressing health and safety issues
If the bond is approved, it is anticipated that some work would begin in the summer of 2014 and the remainder in the summer of 2016. Currently, New York State is taking three to six months to approve projects. Additional time would be needed for architects to prepare specific plans and for bids to be sent out before construction could begin.
Specific recommendations in the proposed bond range from new door locks throughout the district to improved communications inside and between buildings.
The district is seeking to enhance site security through the replacement of older, analog cameras with new digital cameras and additional cameras in the areas where we are currently lacking.
As part of our effort to secure the building perimeters, the proposal will install double entrance vestibules in all buildings while also adding more sophisticated access control systems.
The bond proposal would include the addition of swipe card readers at building entry points. The cards can be programmed for specific uses and times. The bond will also provide visitor entry hardware and procedures including the ability to complete background checks when necessary.
Securing the interior of school buildings during incidents or conducting lock downs will be greatly enhanced by replacing doors where necessary and replacing all door hardware so that teachers can instantly lock doors from the inside.
The bond would add new lock sets on the doors permitting. The proposed new locking system will speed up the process of locking down, and will open up and enhance the educational environment within the building. As part of the proposed bond, we will have the ability to isolate areas within the building to restrict access to other parts of a building when outside groups need to access a specific area of a building such as a gym or auditorium.
Communications will be enhanced by totally upgrading and integrating our phone and PA systems. The existing system is in need of repair. It does not permit the quick and easy access between and within district school buildings. Additionally, our public address systems are outdated and in need of repair or replacement.
The bond would add an access path between Benjamin Franklin Elementary School and Lakeland Copper Beech Middle School for use in evacuations or emergency access. At Walter Panas High School, we will create a walkway leading down to the athletic fields. Currently, pedestrian foot traffic must walk on the same roadway as vehicles. We will also install additional lighting on that roadway to improve safety.
Following Hurricane Sandy, we now recognize the need to have emergency generators at all of the schools that do not currently have one - Lakeland HS, Benjamin Franklin ES, George Washington ES, Thomas Jefferson ES, Lincoln-Titus ES, Van Cortlandtville ES and the District Administration Building. Finally, we will address additional health and safety needs throughout the district including new windows at Benjamin Franklin ES, a connecting corridor at Van Cortlandtville Elementary School, air conditioning of the auditorium and library at Lakeland High School and the cafetorium at Lakeland Copper Beech MS.