Lexington Richland School District Five has been awarded a $135,000 grant from the South Carolina Department of Education to enhance safety facilities across the district. The funds will be allocated towards the implementation of secure containment entry points at seven high-poverty schools, fostering a safer learning environment for students and staff.
The identified schools set to benefit from this initiative include Dutch Fork Elementary, H. E. Corley Elementary, Leaphart Elementary, Nursery Road Elementary, Seven Oaks Elementary, CrossRoads Intermediate, and Irmo Middle School. The grant will be instrumental in fortifying security measures within these institutions.
Ross Wise, Lead Safety Officer at School District Five, expressed enthusiasm for the collaborative efforts that led to the successful grant application. “This grant award is the result of cohesive and collaborative inter-departmental work within the district,” Wise stated. “The Safety Office is eager to utilize the grant funds to ensure security measures remain innovative, competent, and active in ensuring that our students, staff, and community members have a safe physical, social, and emotional location to learn and grow.”
The safety upgrades will involve the installation of secure containment entry points at each school, where visitors will be required to pass through a metal detector and engage with an intercom/camera system before gaining access to the lobby, supervised by school personnel.
This initiative aligns with a broader commitment to school safety, supported by the allocation of $20 million in the current state budget for facility upgrades. State Superintendent of Education Ellen Weaver, appreciative of the General Assembly’s collaboration, remarked, “I’m deeply grateful for the General Assembly’s partnership in allocating this funding for needed school safety upgrades. Academic excellence begins with ensuring the safety of our students and educators.”
Looking ahead, Superintendent Weaver is advocating for an additional $20 million in the upcoming budget cycle to further enhance safety measures and provide the safest learning environment possible.