New security measures at Rockford Public Schools

ROCKFORD, Mich. (WOOD) — New security measures have been put into place at Rockford Public Schools this fall after a multi-million dollar bond passed.

The $76 million bond is being used on three major projects, but the top priority is security.

Eleven million dollars will be used to improve security and safety for students and teachers.

Officials have been meeting with architects over the summer to redesign all the front entrances of each building. The plan is to build a vestibule at each school and have shatter-proof glass windows on the first floors.

All front doors will be locked after the school day starts until the changes are complete. Anyone who comes to the front door after that time will have to ring the doorbell and identify themselves before being allowed in.

The superintendent says it will be inconvenient for the time being, but it will be worth it in the end.

“We have a strong reputation as an educational institution…but we believe in continuous improvement. That means we’re going to be better next year than we are this year and we’re going to be better this year than we were last year, no excuses,” said Superintendent Dr. Michael Shibler.

In February, Shibler agreed to allow Target 8 investigators to try to bypass security in six different schools — while video recording.

One of our undercover producers walked around North Rockford Middle School for fifteen minutes without being challenged.

Overall the results were not what Shibler expected or wanted, but the test made clear the steps the district needs to take. Shibler told 24 Hour News 8 back in February that if the bond proposal passed, the improvements to security would make it impossible for anybody to sneak in.

Construction for all thirteen buildings in the district is expected to be complete sometime next year.

Fifteen million dollars of the remaining bond money will be used to upgrade technology and $50 million will be used on capital improvements throughout the entire district.

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