MIDWEST CITY — Voters in the Midwest City-Del City School District will decide Tuesday on a $10 million bond issue that would enhance security at the district's 30 sites.
The bond election was approved by the board in December. If the measure passes, it would provide funds for the installation of security vestibules at all campuses, surveillance camera upgrades, fencing, four safe rooms, lighting and electronic locks for doors.
A separate $400,000 bond proposition would provide more buses for the district's fleet.
The bond proposal must be approved by 60 percent of voters to pass. It would raise property taxes by about $4 per month for a home valued at $100,000.
“With the passage of this bond issue, we will have four safe rooms in the district — two on the Midwest City side and two on the Del City side,” Mid-Del Schools Superintendent Pam Deering said. “We are so proud that we are at the forefront of weather safety needs as we make progress with safe rooms.”
But the security enhancements will have a bigger impact on day-to-day operations. Midwest City Police Chief Brandon Clabes said times have changed, and with that comes the need for more secure buildings.
“We're very strong proponents of it,” Clabes said. “We feel like it's one of the most important bond issues we've had in recent years. A lot of our facilities were built back in the 1950s and 1960s when there was an open-air approach, when anyone could come inside. But now with the escalation in school violence around the country, you have to change your approach.”
Clabes said a recent incident at Midwest City High School — in which a man gained access to the school and wandered the halls — highlights the need for secure entrances. Security cameras would better allow office staff to monitor what is going on in the hallways and provide evidence for any police investigations.
“With these enhancements, they would have a live feed into their school office,” Clabes said. “Anytime you have an extra set of eyes on what's going on inside a school, it's a good thing.”