The 53 registered voters and two property owners in attendance at Thursday’s town meeting voted unanimously to approve a $70,000 appropriation from the town’s general fund for Phase I of the Brookfield School District’s security upgrade.
After a rundown of the security measures being implemented in the first phase and a few questions from residents, a hand count from a diverse room of voters was unanimous, resulting in applause.
The town’s portion will be met with $40,000 from the school’s capital fund, approved by the Board of Education (BOE).
Work will begin immediately on better securing the entry points at all four school buildings, according to district Director of Business and Technology Art Colley, and should be completed by the last week of January, early February.
This first phase includes installing double-doors at the main entrances — requiring visitors to get buzzed through the first set of doors and get a visitor’s pass before being buzzed through the second — and key-card-access locks to the teacher entrances, which will remain locked at all times.
The district will also begin putting shatterproof 3M security film on windows, which significantly strengthens the glass.
The next step in the security plan is to meet with town officials to work out financing details for Phases II and III, which are projected to cost $162,600 and $74,000, respectively.
The school district plans to have discussions with the town in March/April to pinpoint specific funding sources, according to Colley and Superintendent Anthony Bivona, however it is expected that most of the funding will come from the municipal budget, rather than through the schools.
According to First Selectman Bill Davidson, the town’s portion of the funding for the latter phases will be worked into the 2013-14 budget.
“It’s best for everybody if we do this through the budget and not fund balance,” he said, as the entire plan calls for $347,500 for building upgrades and equipment.
“With something that’s a special issue like this, we certainly try to get it through,” Davidson said of Phase I. “It’s a classic reason to keep a good fund balance — things come up.”