Albion school district approves $1.8 million emergency notification system

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 May 2022 at 9:25 am

State to pay for project through Smart Schools Bond Act

ALBION – The school district has approved spending $1.8 million for an emergency classroom notification system.

The funding comes from Albion’s share of its $2,238,441 in the state-funded Smart Schools Bond Act, a $2 billion fund approved by voters state-wide in 2014.

Albion proposed the “District Network Connectivity and High Tech Security Projects” totaling $1,815,000 on April 4. The plan was on the district website for more than 30 days. No one spoke at a May 9 public hearing about the initiative.

The Board of Education voted May 9 to approve it, and it now goes to the State Education Department for its OK, a process that could take eight to 10 months, Albion school officials said.

Albion’s new emergency classroom notification would replace a PA/clock system with classroom speakers and displays. This will be a digital system with audio and display notification, said Mickey Edwards, the district superintendent.

In addition to the $1.8 million, Albion would need to spend $70,000 to upgrade the IT network to support the system with $15,000 coming from Smart Bond and $55,000 from the E-Rate federal technology fund.

There won’t be any local cost because the funding is already set aside from the state, Edwards said.

Albion will have about $400,000 left of its share of the Smart Schools Bond Act that will be “evergreen funds” that could be used in the future, Edwards said.