Security upgrades at Las Vegas high school expected to cost $26M
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Following a series of violent events at Las Vegas-area high schools during the 2021-22 school year, Clark County School District decided to implement new security measures including the upgrading of security cameras and school infrastructure such as a single entry to the school.
The school district entered a contract to make these upgrades to Eldorado High School in the east valley at an estimated $26 million.
At Eldorado in April, a 16-year-old student was charged with attempted murder and sexual assault of his teacher, after the teacher was violently attacked and strangled in her own classroom, according to police.
The newly-released $26 million figure is detailed in the agenda of Thursday’s CCSD Board of Trustees meeting. The agenda reads that CCSD’s Facilities Division entered into a contract with Roche Constructors on June 2 to make the security upgrades to Eldorado. The district estimates the cost for the upgrades to be $26,275,700.
But Eldorado is not the only school being considered for safety investments Thursday. The trustees were informed about security upgrade contracts for Clark High School on July 14 as well.
In contrast, the upgrades for Clark High School are an estimated $99,970, in contract with Able Integrated Solutions LLC. While exact, itemized costs are not provided, Clark is expected to get similar upgrades to Eldorado, including more security cameras, a single-point entry to the school and additional fencing.
FOX5 has requested documents itemizing the costs associated with the $26 million proposed purchase for upgraded security at Eldorado High School.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the school district told FOX5 that they are continuing to make upgrades, but that the costs will vary from school to school.
“Each school community has unique needs based on current infrastructure,” the district said in an emailed statement. “To provide security enhancements, aging infrastructure must also be repaired or replaced in order to support the security technology.”
In both updates to the board, the district said the security upgrades are “a life safety necessity for added protection of students and staff.”
CCSD said it couldn’t discuss the specifics about the upgrades being made in order to keep the school community safe.
“Security experts advise keeping exact procedures confidential to prevent people from planning ways to circumvent the security measures (NRS 388.259),” CCSD said in a statement. “While we would like to disclose security details so that our parents, students, and staff members feel more assured, doing so would allow those who intend to cause harm an advantage.”
The expenditures were listed on the agenda for the board meeting on July 14. Since it was listed as “informational,” no action or discussion was scheduled Thursday on behalf of the trustees.
Meanwhile, as back-to-school season soon begins, safety concerns remain a top concern for families, according to Danielle Ford, Trustee representing District F on the CCSD Board of Trustees.
“Everybody is really spooked about sending their kids to school and committing to another year,” said Ford. “We need to give people better peace of mind right now.”
Ford said she is working to gain transparency on what changes are being made on campuses and where.
“I was just told today that the board should have some answers about that in our next closed session in a couple days,” said Ford.
She said she wants to be able to share that information with her constituents, however, she said the board will not be legally allowed to share that information.
Because of this, Ford said she asked CCSD Superintendent Jesus Jara to develop “some verbiage” to give people a better idea of the fixes they are making across the district.
“People have a right to know-- at least that we’re working on it, and what we’re working on. Some details,” said Ford. “Like, maybe it’s, ‘Hey we’re making sure that there’s cameras in all schools’. You don’t even have to tell us where the cameras are exactly! Or, ‘We’re gonna make sure that all elementary schools are gated to this capacity,’ and that we’re going to put a higher emphasis on secondary schools, or something like that, without sharing anything with people who wish to do harm.”
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