Ohio School Board Greenlights Communications, Video Surveillance Upgrade

Total cost of the upgrade, about $185,000, will come from a security fund paid for by a portion of income tax.

Hudson, Ohio – The Board of Education here unanimously approved an upgrade to the district’s two-way radios and video surveillance system.

The two-way radio system upgrade will cost $105,172. The upgrade will be done by B&C Communication, according to the Hudson Hub-Times. Comfort Systems USA will upgrade the video surveillance system district wide at a cost of $80,079.

The funds will come from a security fund paid for by a portion of income tax. The School Board voted to waive the competitive bidding process.

According to Business Manager Derek Cluse, the Board, by statute, is permitted to waive bidding for a variety of capital improvements, including security. In the case of security improvements, the district prefers to deal with trusted vendors, Cluse told the newspaper.

“They understand what we are trying to do and it is more cost effective that way,” he added.

The upgrade will include moving from an analog system to digital, increasing district repeaters – which recieve and transmit signals, from three to four, increase channels and increasing the signal through the district’s IP network.

The current radio system is about five years behind the technology available, Cluse said.

“What we are going to is 100 percent better,” he told the Board.

The video surveillance upgrade is needed because while the district had 114 camera throughout its buildings, there are still blind spots, Cluse said.

Some of the cameras will not allow a good video feed if it is too dark outside or if there are too many shadows, he added.

“Our principals use these on a daily basis,” Cluse said. “And from a security standpoint it is a deterrent.”

The video upgrade will include moving from analog to digital camera and video recorders.

Board President David Zuro called the expenditures “a considerable amount of money.”

“But at the same time, these are consistent with the high priority we are placing on enhancing the security of the district,” Cluse said. “This signals the emphasis we are placing on security and doing what we can.”

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