Federal grant to help fund security upgrades in District 75

Mundelein Elementary District 75 will be adding and upgrading security cameras as part of work planned using a $398,394 federal grant to improve school safety and minimize and prevent violence.

The district is one of 10 entities throughout Illinois that will receive a portion of more than $3 million in U.S. Department of Justice funding.

In Lake County, Zion Elementary District 6 will receive $354,375, according to the grants announced recently by U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth.

The grants are awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services for safety measures in and around schools. The money must be used within three years.

It includes funding for training local law enforcement to prevent student violence, technology to quickly notify local authorities in an emergency, and other tools to improve security, according to a news release.

District 75 assembled its grant request in June based on cost estimates for the three projects. The work is estimated to cost $530,000. The district will pay 25%, or about $132,000 of the total, with 75% covered by the matching grant, said Peter Gill, director of public relations.

The three projects are:

• Upgrading the door fob system in all school buildings, likely to be completed in the first year.

• Adding more security cameras and upgrading all of them with higher-definition cameras. The camera server also will be upgraded. That will require additional wiring and will be done over the next three years.

• Upgrading the intercom system.

Gill said schools will be outfitted with digital (internet protocol) speakers and clocks. These will be equipped with flashing lights and be able to post emergency broadcast notices. Intercom speakers will be placed in classrooms, hallways and outdoors.

"Like the cameras, these will include additional cabling and will be done over a three-year period," Gill said.

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