School Board OKs security upgrades

Article via The Tennessean:

The Robertson County Board of Education last week unanimously approved a contract with Biscan, Inc. to secure school entrances across the county.

The move came after the Robertson County Commission voted unanimously late last month to allow Director of Schools Mike Davis to spend more than $260,000 on the project.

“In the contract, it gives them six months to do (the work),” Davis said. “Some of them will be done real soon.”

Davis said his staff will conduct a pre-construction meeting to determine which schools will be targeted first while attempting to prevent disruptions within the school buildings.

At last month’s commission meeting, Davis revealed that the school system had received two bids for the secure schools project in December. The first bid, from Biscan, was for $257,973, and a second bid, from RG Anderson, was for $337,000.

Both bids were good for 60 days, Davis said, adding that the school system unanimously approved the lower of the two during its Jan. 6 meeting.

“When we first brought this project before you, the figure we were given was close to $890,000,” Davis told the commission. “We were directed to go back and review the scope of work, which we did.”

The secure schools project calls for restructuring vestibules at nine of the county’s 21 schools, according to plans drawn by the architectural firm of Kaatz, Binkley, Jones and Morris. The original plans included more schools, but Davis said some of the work needed to bring all the schools up to standard could be handled in-house by the system’s maintenance department, saving the county hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The work handled by the schools maintenance department is estimated at $2,400, bringing the total cost of the project to just over $260,000.

“We would have loved to have seen more bids, but we feel this is a good price,” Davis said.

Commissioners unanimously voted to suspend the rules so they could vote on the measure the required two times during their meeting. It passed unanimously on both readings with Commissioners Bill Gray and Steve Haley absent from the proceedings.

Davis said the work at the schools would take place on nights, weekends and school breaks.

“The biggest changes we’d see would be at Coopertown Elementary School and Woodall Elementary School,” he said. “The front offices would have to be relocated to make the buildings safer. They are currently located in the middle of the school buildings.”

Once the secure schools project is completed, people entering school buildings in Robertson County would be required to go through a pedestrian entrance, which will take them to the school’s main office.

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