Alabama School District Undergoes Major Security Upgrade

By SCN Staff

RAINSVILLE, Ala.—DeKalb County Schools is working with Schneider Electric to modernize the school district’s infrastructure with a comprehensive security solution.

The project includes vast improvements to the school’s security systems including keycards, brighter lighting, video monitoring and the addition of vestibules to school entryways. It also includes general facility upgrades to modernize the district, including new and improved LED lighting, water conservation methods and building envelope that will improve energy efficiency in order to reduce energy and operational costs by 29 percent. The $9.9 million project is expected to deliver more than $430,000 in projected energy savings annually.

Prior to the project, DeKalb County Schools were relying on legacy infrastructure and outdated security systems due to budget constraints. Working with Schneider Electric, the district will enhance the safety of faculty, students and parents with updated facilities that operate with cutting-edge technologies. The district is paying for the upgrades through a capital recovery and reinvestment program with Schneider Electric that limits the need for outside funding. Increasing efficiencies through these infrastructure improvements allows the school district to put more money towards its safety and security efforts.

“Safety and security have always been a top priority here at DeKalb County Schools but aren’t always a reality for many districts like ours that face funding challenges,” said Dr. Jason Barnett, Superintendent of DeKalb County Schools.

“Keeping our students and faculty safe from harm allows them to prioritize school work and education without having to second guess the school’s security measures.”

The new security solution will also take advantage of both networked and physical security improvements. It will include 17 buildings within the school district and modernize access points across entryways at each of them. DeKalb County Schools has also placed new gates and fencing around parking lots to control human and vehicle traffic. The full spectrum of solutions includes:

  • new keycards with unique permissions for each cardholder, including teachers, custodians and coaches. Keycards allow the controller to quickly and easily remove access when keycards are lost or stolen.
  • updated gates and fencing with networked solutions to control vehicle flow on campus.
  • canopies over some sidewalks to redirect traffic more efficiently and allow students to safely move between school buildings.
  • video monitoring with cameras at different access points with recording capabilities and the ability to connect with the sheriff’s department.
  • two-way conversation audio systems to speak with visitors before they may enter school facilities
  • addition of vestibules with glass viewing walls inside the schools, using airlocks and blast proof glass.

“DeKalb County Schools is committed to providing the safest environments for its students and we are happy to work with the district to put parents, students and faculty at ease with security concerns,” said Schneider Electric Vice President Tammy Fulop.

“It’s rewarding to feel that students are safe when they arrive to school and can focus on the hard work of learning to become America’s next generation of leaders.”