Clear Creek Independent School District voters in May 2017 approved a $487 bond issue that included $8.1 million to upgrade the district’s security systems.
But now, more than two years later, district administrators are preparing to spend millions more than anticipated to secure the schools.
Trustees recently approved more than $6.84 million for district-wide security upgrades and another $10.59 million to add vestibules at the entryways of all five comprehensive high schools, said Sydney Hunt, spokeswoman for the district.
District administrators are laying the blame largely on underestimating the rate of inflation on security upgrades, but the bond also came before the May 18, 2018 shooting at Santa Fe High School that left 10 people dead and another 13 people injured.
School districts across Galveston County increased their funding for school security and hired additional staff in response to the shooting. Texas City, for instance, hired former Secret Service agent Mike Matranga to be its executive director of security and safety and gave him a $6.5 million security budget.
Education spending on security equipment and services has now reached $2.7 billion in 2017 and should rise to $2.8 billion by 2021, according to a report by IHS Markit, an information provider.
Clear Creek’s district-wide security upgrades will include access control, intrusion detection systems and surveillance cameras, officials said. The project is divided into two separate phases — technology installation and architectural — both of which Drymalla Construction Company will coordinate, officials said.
Additional funding for the security upgrades will come via bond savings and interest, officials said.
Trustees have already approved the district’s security council, for instance, recommendation to hire a total of 30 new positions — including 15 additional Galveston County Sheriff’s Office school liaison officers and additional mental health counselors — for about $2.2 million in an effort to improve school security after the May 18 shooting at Santa Fe High School.
Capital projects comprise about 25 percent of the district’s total $589.5 million projected expenditures for the 2018-2019 school year, documents show.