West Fargo Schools Upgrading Security - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

West Fargo Schools Upgrading Security

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One area school is spending more than $140,000 to increase security.

West Fargo Public Schools says they have been looking to update security for their 8,500 students. The school board says they now have money in the building fund budget to upgrade, and Dakota Electric Construction made the bid of nearly $143,000.

"I think the appetite for security upgrades is high." says Heather Konschak the West Fargo School Community Relations Coordinator.

The district will be adding a buzzer system, cameras and panic button to be pressed for police assistance.

"We do want to provide good customer service to our kids and their parents and their families, while acknowledging that we want to keep them safe, so we don't want our schools to be prisons but we want them to be safe." Konschak says.

She adds this is a necessary measure to take to be prepared with their 15 facilities.

"One of the hardest parts of my job is hearing 'Oh that will never happen here.' because that's what everybody thinks that it will never happen here, and I'm sure the folks in Sandy Hook thought that too." Konschak says, "So we can't live with the assumption that it will never happen here so what are those things we can do to make ourselves better prepared."

The school will be moving forward with this called Phase1 where they will be focusing on door hardware to make sure all entrances are as secure as possible.

"If we can spend $143,000 and put in one more level of security and one more stop gap that helps buy us some time in the event of an emergency, it's $143,000 well spent." Konschak says.

The board hopes in next years budget there will be money to spend on what they call Phase 2. That would include updating electronics like allowing staff to enter without a physical key and adding more cameras rather than just to the main entrances.

The school district says it will be first starting in the schools furthest from emergency assistance. They add all schools should be finished by this summer.

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