Surveillance cameras at Stanton Middle School are among new security features in the works for the Kent City School District.
Jim Soyars, director of business for Kent schools, said the new cameras are in the works, but where they would go "has not been mapped out yet."
He said the move is part of ongoing efforts to improve security throughout Kent's schools. It is not in reaction to any specific instance.
"I don't we'll ever really be done enhancing our security," said Bob Monroe, director of property services.
The cameras are among a slew of building improvements planned for or already completed with the $435,000 in permanent improvement funds available to the school district. Those funds are allocated for the current 2013-14 fiscal year, which runs from July to June.
Soyars said along with general maintenance, security has been a focus of those funds for the past several years.
New, "heavier" duty access points for the wireless network need to be installed to bolster the system the cameras operate on, Soyars said. That network is seeing upgrades throughout the district, with a focus on the high and middle schools.
The high school already has a camera system in place. Soyars said there may be even more cameras put up there soon that focus on building entrances and exits.
Soyars said other security improvements have included installing electronically locked doors and keypads on almost every building in the district -- a project completed last year.
A tornado shelter at Davey Elementary School has been upgraded and outfitted with electricity. "But students won't notice anything different unless there's a drill (or an emergency)," Monroe said.
A couple of new sinks were also installed with the PI funds at elementary cafeterias following recommendations made by the Kent Health Department in the spring.
More than half of the rubberized roof of the bus garage on St. Clair Avenue was repaired this summer using about $140,000 of the PI funds. The structure had never before been repaired by the school district. Monroe called it a "proactive" move before the roof completely failed, which would be "catastrophic," he said.
"A lot of the stuff we're doing is much needed, but not super visible," Monroe added. "A lot of it is behind the scenes."
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