Pumped-up security and power-efficient lighting are ways the Oberlin City Schools are getting ready for fall.
Ten new surveillance cameras have been installed inside Langston Middle School this July. They’ll help keep watch over the cafeteria and hallways, according to superintendent David Hall.
If the budget allows, cameras will soon be installed at other schools, too.
Panic buttons that can immediately alert Oberlin police when pressed were also placed in the district’s main office, should “an active shooter come in,” said Hall.
“I want teachers, parents, and kids to feel safe,” he said. “This will increase security, awareness, and solve some problems. It’s always great to have (cameras) when the kids say ‘this happened’ or ‘that happened.’ We can go to the cameras and see it.”
At the same time, the Oberlin school system is exploring ways to save energy and money.
Hall said the process started by swapping fluorescent lights for LED bulbs.
The switch started in the board of education office and will branch into other buildings if educators are happy with EPCO, the electrical company behind the project. It cost around $4,000 to replace the lighting and fixtures.
While Hall said the district probably won’t see the payoff for a few years, EPCO estimated $1,265 in annual savings.
Hall said he jumps on any opportunity to save money for the community.
“Our budget is doing well but we always have to watch it. Every little bit counts that we can save,” he said.
Laurie Hamame can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @HamameNews on Twitter.