200 Security 2

By Bob Balgemann


POPLAR GROVE – Replacement of video and surveillance cameras at North Boone High School has been approved by the North Boone Community Unit School District 200 board of education.

In a 6 to 1 vote on Tuesday night, June 16, with board member Ed Mulholland dissenting, the board approved spending $166,075 with Computer Dynamics for the work.

The decision came after some discussion and with the board facing a June 26 deadline, at which time bids submitted by four companies no longer would be guaranteed.

“At a bare minimum, I believe the board needs to move forward with the base bid and replace the high school system,” Superintendent Steven Baule said. “Long-term, I would like to do all the buildings.”

He added that security systems at the elementary schools primarily are focused on student entrances and exits.

Board member Tom Moon said he didn’t believe cameras saved lives. “It’s after the fact,” he said. “We’re going to keep paying and paying.”

Cameras at the high school have helped solve thefts, Principal Jake Hubert said. “They are deterrents,” he said. “They are helpful with discipline issues.”

When it came to saving lives of school children, he said, “I hope we never have that situation.”

“I’d love to have that (camera system) at the middle school,” said Matt Klett, assistant principal at both the middle and upper elementary schools.

Board member Don Ward asked if cameras showed what was going on outside the school building.

The reply was yes. Cameras will show vehicles entering and leaving the grounds, as well as their license plates.

After the board was assured there would be no charges other than what had been shown, Ward moved to approve the base bid plus alternate 1, which would have installed cameras in the middle, upper elementary and three elementary schools. Computer Dynamics bid for the alternate improvement was $220,102, also lowest among the four.

But Ward’s motion failed, 4 to 3, with board Vice President Joe Haverly and members Moon, Mary Maxey and Mulholland in opposition. Support came from Ward, member Brian Reininger and board President Matt Ellingson.

Alternate Bid 2, which would have equipped the administration building with cameras, never came up for a vote. Computer Dynamics quote for that project was $57,964.

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