Va. School Districts Receive $150K School Security Grant

The grant money will go toward security upgrades at four schools.

More than $150,000 in state grants have been approved for new school security equipment at city facilities in Danville, Va and in Pittsylvania County.

The city will get $66,220 for new equipment at two high schools, Galileo Magnet High School and George Washington High School. Pittsylvania County will receive $100,000 for equipment at its four middle schools, the Danville Register & Bee reports.

The money is part of $6 million Gov. Terry McAuliffe awarded for 96 school divisions and five regional education programs across the state. The governor’s office made the announcement Thursday, Sept. 15.

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Dave Cochran, Danville Schools’ executive director of school safety, told the Danville Register & Bee the money will pay for updates to Galileo’s video surveillance system. The changes will include additional security cameras and higher-quality digital equipment, Cochran said.

The current video surveillance system is at least seven years old, he said. Galileo’s project will cost $27,700. At George Washington, officials plan to spend about $55,000 to install new external security lighting, Cochran said.

LED lighting will be installed at George Washington and will save the school division money, Cochran said. There will be a rebate for upgrading to the LED lights and the cost of electricity will also decrease, he said.

“Plus, it’s just a much higher quality of light,” Cochran told the newspaper.

The two projects total $82,775, with $66,220 coming from the state and $16,555 to be provided by local matching funds – if approved by the Danville School Board, Cochran said.

The city added new external security lighting at 10 other schools last year, Cochran said.

Pittsylvania County will use its money to add more surveillance cameras at its middle schools. This is the fourth year for the school security grants, Jeff Early, assistant superintendent for operations with the county school division, told the newspaper.

Next year will be the final year for the grants, Early said.

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