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School security remains top priority for Central Oregon districts; more projects are underway, proposed

Update: Adding video, information and quotes

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Educating students is the main goal for public schools, but for Redmond School District Superintendent Charan Cline, keeping them safe and secure is the highest priority.

Cline is overseeing security improvements throughout the school district.

“It’s a high priority for us to get this done as quickly as possible," Cline told NewsChannel 21 on Wednesday.

Funds for the improvements are from a bond measure voters passed in 2020. COVID-19 construction delays slowed down school improvements which is currently only happening at Obsidian Middle School.

The school's main entrance will switch from the south side of campus to the north side, where a more secure entrance is being built.

“The main goal is for the office staff to control who comes in and out of the school a lot better than they can now," said Chad Franke, a program manager for HMK Company, which in charge of the school upgrades.

Upgrades at Obsidian Middle School also will include more security cameras, an entrance televideo system and an electronic key fob system that allows the school district to control who has access to school entrances.

“If a coach who has practice in the gym from 4 to 5 (p.m.) Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, then we can set that," Franke said. "Then all those other times, they wont have that access, except for the time set in that technology.”

Upgrades at Obsidian Middle School will be completed before the start of the next school year, along with Vern Patrick Elementary, Tom McCall Elementary and Elton Gregory Middle School. Every other Redmond school will have upgrades completed before the end of the next school year.

In 2017, Bend-La Pine Schools voters passed a bond to not only build new schools but also modernize security systems."

The list of security projects in that bond measure have all been completed, Alandra Johnson, the school district's assistant director of communications, confirmed to NewsChannel 21 on Wednesday.

The $66 million Crook County School District bond that was defeated by fewer than 200 votes last week included security improvements for at least three campuses.

Article Topic Follows: Crime And Courts
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Jordan Williams

Jordan Williams is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jordan here.

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