As Farmington Public Schools heads into the final round of 2015 bond projects, some school board members want unspent funds used to beef up security measures.
In addition to funds saved by closing Highmeadow Common Campus last year and Harrison High next year, officials have seen favorable bid packages. During Tuesday’s regular meeting, they approved a bid for work at Kenbrook and Beechview Elementary Schools that will save nearly $600,000.
Trustee Terry Johnson, who chairs the board’s Building and Sites subcommittee, said in light of a recent mass shooting at a Florida high school, officials should focus on student safety.
” I would like to see what we’ve saved thus far and look at ways to utilize that money for securing our schools in a more safe ways,” he said.
Johnson acknowledged a letter from a citizens oversight committee that has monitored bond spending. Members urged trustees to reduce bond capacity rather than spending the dollars saved.
“If the folks from the bond oversight committee want to come and present to us why we shouldn’t protect our kids, I would love to hear from them,” he said. “We do have the funds available. I’m not trying to spend every dime… but as a good steward of the monies and more importantly to protect our kids, I think we need to do this.”
Board president David Turner suggested the subcommittee review the available funds and how they might be used to improve existing security measures.
“I don’t think anyone around this table is going to say that’s a bad idea,” he said.
Johnson also said he is opening up 10 spaces in an April 4 class for any teacher interested in training to carry a concealed weapon.