CARPENTERSVILLE – District 300 officials are looking to reinforce school entrances with bullet-resistant glass and make other security improvements following widespread school shootings across the country.
Board members at the Carpentersville-based school district earlier this week approved the safety projects in a $509,000 grant application to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
Member Joe Stevens said the decision to apply was a no-brainer.
“We would like to do what we can to improve the safety of our schools,” he said.
The state agency made $25 million available to school districts, community colleges and four-year universities to help officials address similar safety deficiencies found at Sandy Hook Elementary following a mass shooting at the Newtown, Conn., school, Stevens said.
If awarded the $509,000, the district would reinforce all public and student entrances at its 27 schools with thicker, shatter-proof glass designed to prevent a person from forcibly entering a school.
Officials also would install outside intercom systems that any visitor would have to use before being allowed to enter a building. The district currently has five schools that operate without intercom systems, said District Safety Officer Gary Chester.
Radio antennas would also be installed at the district’s three high schools to improve communication between first responders in and outside the buildings.
The state plans on announcing grant recipients sometime this spring.
Elsewhere in District 300, consultants from Hazard, Young and Attea are interviewing a pool of 15 candidates vying to replace Superintendent Michael Bregy, who is leaving at the end of May to become superintendent of a Highland Park district.
The search firm will narrow the pool to five semifinalists, Stevens said. The board and an interview team of administrators and community representatives would then meet with those candidates before whittling the applicants to three finalists.
Board members will meet Tuesday for a special session to form the interview team. The board wants to name the district’s next superintendent by late April, Stevens said.