PRC School District to get new cameras

Published 7:00 am Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Pearl River County School District Board of Trustees approved a motion to purchase a new security system for all campuses during Monday’s meeting.

The system will cost the District $175,885, which includes the installation.

It was needed due to the aging nature of the current security system, and the fact that several areas that needed coverage were not being monitored. Superintendent Alan Lumpkin said over the years a number of the cameras had to be replaced, leading to each campus having a different kind of system.

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With this new system, all campuses will be using the same system, and coverage will be expanded to areas that need it most.

Lumpkin said that cameras will not be installed in classrooms, with the exception of the Endeavor Campus. In all, 170 cameras will be spread throughout three campuses, mostly placed outdoors.

Proceeds to pay for the new system will come from the District’s fund balance, which currently sits at $4.4 million, $300,000 more than District Finance Director T.J. Burleson projected.

During discussion of the new system, Burleson advised the Board that adjustments to the budget may need to be made mid year, depending in what the governor’s office decides in terms of educational funding. Last year, two mid year cuts in the state’s funding caused the District to have to make adjustments by absorbing the loss through the fund balance, Burleson said.

In light of that information, Board member Jeremy Weir asked if the District should consider waiting until later in the year to purchase the new security system. Burleson said the Board could decide to fund the system into four $50,000 payments, but that would increase the cost over time. However, Burleson said the cost to install the system in one payment is not that much, especially when the safety of students is considered.

“I would say it’s a wise investment,” Burleson said.

The Board approved a motion to purchase the system.

In other business, the Board also approved a motion to establish an assistant band director/teacher position that would cover the junior high and high school. Lumpkin said adding the new position would entail increasing the budget by $40,000. Currently the position would be part time, but Lumpkin said the plan is to make it full time next school year.

The next meeting will be Nov. 6 at 5:30 p.m.