Lonedell School will be getting both new security cameras and an updated phone system by the end of the current academic year after the R-XIV board of education approved the purchases during its March meeting.
For months, board members, Superintendent Fred VanBibber, Principal Jen Ulrich and others have been discussing the needed security upgrades for the kindergarten through eighth-grade district and in January requested bids from companies for each.
During its March meeting, the board accepted the bid from Kyvon of Fenton for the phone system and from Netwatch of Springfield for the new camera surveillance system.
“I feel good about both of these bids,” R-XIV board President Kathy Reed told The Missourian after the meeting. “A new phone system is long overdue and definitely needs an upgrade. And our current camera system just doesn’t do all what we need it to do.
“Both of our selections are good choices.”
Kyvon’s phone system basically will replace the district’s current intercom and places a phone in every classroom. One of four bids received, Kyvon’s was the lowest at $25,000, and the proposed system scored the highest on an evaluation of the bids conducted by the district.
The evaluation considered cost, quality, warranty and needs among other things.
Netwatch’s surveillance camera bid will supply 32 indoor and outdoor cameras for the school for $41,819.70. The cameras will be connected to a server that stores footage and allows administrators to access all views from monitors.
In all, six bids were received, and Netwatch’s scored the highest in the district’s evaluation. It ranked in the middle as far as cost.
“The main thing with both of these is safety and communication,” VanBibber said. “We also checked on convenience and ease of use.”
The superintendent said the phone system should be installed sometime in April while the cameras should be operational by the end of May.
In January, the seven-member school board voted to bid out contracts for the new phone and surveillance systems as well as to bid out replacing an outside door, better secure the preschool area and make windows around the elementary area more secure.
The improvements will be part of an overall process to make the school as secure as possible.
At the time, it was estimated the total price tag for the improvements would be in the neighborhood of at least $60,000 to $70,000.