Three elementary schools will receive safety upgrades

Three elementary schools will receive safety upgrades

NORTH PROVIDENCE – The town’s three older elementary schools will receive modern safety upgrades to match two newly built schools, bringing uniformity across the district.

The $73,846 in planned work will be paid for through a Kids Club account set up through a 2009 ordinance of the council, meaning no new burden on taxpayers. It will include $43,000 in upgrades to security, $23,000 for access control, and $6,585 for security windows.

After the work, there will be $79,000 left in the account.

Mayor Charles Lombardi and Communications Director Ralph Nahigian filled the council in on the “very important” plan for the upgrades at last week’s council meeting, Lombardi saying the three older schools will have the same safety features enjoyed by the new McGuire and Stephen Olney. Lombardi said police have been requesting these upgrades for some time.

Nahigian said he expects about a six-week installation period, planned for when students are not in school.

At the three schools tabbed for improvements, Whelan, Greystone and Centredale, police currently only have the access control to get into one door if needed. These upgrades will allow them to access the schools from all the best points in case of an emergency, and like the two new elementary schools and upper-level schools, police will have full-time vision inside the schools, with cameras popping up in dispatch.

Lombardi noted that the town will save between $60,000 and $70,000 by doing this work in-house after merging IT services between the town and schools. He thanked Nahigian for everything he does for the town.

Supt. Joseph Goho said the use for the money from a restricted account set up with the Kids Club rental agreement “fits in perfectly” with what it was intended for, ensuring that all elementary schools have “parity” in enjoying some of the best security measures available. Nahigian “is the best,” he said, and he thanked the town, including Lombardi and a facilities subcommittee, for working with the schools to make sure all students are kept as safe and secure as possible.