$10 million in safety grants will go toward 335 projects at 249 NH schools

Monitor staff
Published: 11/28/2022 4:38:08 PM

State officials approved $9.7 million in funding for school safety projects this month, such as door and lock replacements, key card systems and security cameras intended to improve control of who accesses school buildings.

The funding, which was approved by the Executive Council last week, will go toward 335 projects at 249 New Hampshire schools. Schools applied for funding as part of the Security Action for Education (SAFE) grant application process. The state has allocated a total of about $43.9 million for projects like this since 2017.

The schools receiving funding include 231 public schools and 18 non-public schools.

Merrimack Valley School District is receiving about $105,000 for projects at each of its seven schools.

“The projects are focused on improving security measures,” said Superintendent Mark MacLean. “Specifically the majority of the projects are for strengthening building access controls.”

Hopkinton School District is receiving a total of about $105,800 for projects at each of its three schools. Bow High School will be receiving $27,312, and Dunbarton Elementary will be receiving $37,312. In the SAU24 district, Center Woods Elementary and Weare Middle School are getting $20,000 each, while Henniker Community School is getting $100,000.

Each school submitted an application to the Public School Infrastructure Commission through New Hampshire’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management’s Resource Center, which then prioritized the projects based on potential risk. All of the projects approved are aimed to improve access control capabilities at schools statewide.

“We continue to work to make our schools safer so that children, staff members and parents can have peace of mind,” Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Robert Buxton said in a statement. “This round of funding will help to create more security through access control.”

This is the second round of SAFE grants approved in recent months. Early decision awards were previously granted to 92 public schools and used $3.9 million in state funds. This second round of awards total nearly $9.9 million in funds through the Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery and will be granted to 249 schools; awards were capped at $100,000 per school.

“School safety is an absolute priority in New Hampshire, and this latest round of SAFE grants will work to ensure that schools are supplied with new technology and other advancements to enhance school safety and the protection of our children,” said Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut.

Eileen O

Eileen O'Grady is a Report for America corps member covering education for the Concord Monitor since spring 2020. O’Grady is the former managing editor of Scope magazine at Northeastern University in Boston, where she reported on social justice issues, community activism, local politics and the COVID-19 pandemic. She is a native Vermonter and worked as a reporter covering local politics for the Shelburne News and the Citizen. Her work has also appeared in The Boston Globe, U.S. News & World Report, The Bay State Banner, and VTDigger. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northeastern University and a bachelor’s degree in politics and French from Mount Holyoke College, where she served as news editor for the Mount Holyoke News from 2017-2018.

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