Strangers create concern at school

Published 10:38 am Saturday, April 23, 2011

FRANKLIN—After two unidentified people were caught on camera walking through J.P. King Middle School Monday, the Franklin School Board agreed to upgrade the security systems at its three schools.

Superintendent Dr. Michelle Belle told the board during a Thursday meeting a camera filmed the pair walking the halls on Monday. They did not check in at the office.

“As quickly as they walked in, they walked back out,” Belle said.

Although nothing serious happened, it highlighted a need for better security, she said.

“We need to do whatever we can to secure the building,” Belle said.

The school will use $15,000 from a $120,335 appropriation for cameras at the front doors of each school and equipping entrances with keypads, said Transportation Director Ricky Blunt.

The new system will require secretaries to let visitors in the buildings.

The appropriation also includes $50,000 for resurfacing the track at Franklin High School.

“The track at the high school is not usable,” said board member Will Councill. “We either have to fix it up or discontinue the track program.”

A $45,335 financial system upgrade is also included as part of the appropriation.

Interim Finance Director Shelia Minor told the board that RDA, the vendor that supports the school financial system, indicated that support and upgrades for the system would no longer be available come December 2012. Minor said the most cost-effective option is to upgrade the existing system.

Minor said she hopes to have the upgraded system in place by July 1, the start of the system’s new fiscal year.

The appropriation also will pay for a maintenance van for $10,000. Minor said the transmission is beyond repair on another van.