Lynchburg, VA - Several public schools in our area are revamping their security systems thanks to new grant money.
Governor McDonnell announced Tuesday that 459 schools are getting a total of $6 million in Security Equipment Grants.
Lynchburg City Schools got $100,000, and all 11 of the city's elementary schools will benefit from the grant.
Assistant Superintendent of Operations and Administration Benjamin Copeland says all of the money will be used to install new surveillance camera systems in the following schools: Bedford Hills Elementary, Dearington Elementary, Heritage Elementary, Linkhorne Elementary, Paul Munro Elementary, Perrymont Elementary, Robert S. Payne Elementary, Sandusky Elementary, Sheffield Elementary, Thomas C. Miller Elementary and William Marvin Bass Elementary.
The cameras will be set up in the hallways, exits and some outside the buildings. He says they plan to get them set up within the next six months.
Most middle and high schools in Lynchburg already have surveillance systems in place, so Copeland says city school leaders are happy they can now focus on elementary schools.
"Normally you would take this kind of thing and do a little bit this year and a little bit next year...and it may take you many years to cover all of the places you want to cover. The benefit of a grant like this is that we can get it all done now," said Copeland.
Bedford County Superintendent Dr. Douglas Schuch says the $75,597 his county received will go toward four of their schools: Bedford Elementary, Bedford Primary, Stewartsville Elementary and Thaxton Elementary.
He says they don't have a plan written in stone just yet.
"Certainly camera systems are high up in the priority list, but as our staff looks at each individual school, and now the money that is available, we'll be able to tell in short time how specifically we're going to use those funds," said Dr. Schuch.
Superintendent of Appomattox County Schools Dorinda Grasty says the county school board is planning on using the $59,730 they're getting to set up new camera systems, access control systems and an emergency phone system for five of the schools. Those are the Alternative Ed Center, Appomattox County Elementary, Appomattox County High, Appomattox County Middle and Appomattox County Primary.