State Funding to Support New Security at Hudson Schools

June 29, 2018



by Len Lathrop

While everyone mentions “this is Hudson,” and no one wants to talk about school security, the Hudson School Board made it a priority several months ago. With a major grant from the State of New Hampshire, some systems are going to be changed when school ends in preparation for the 2018-2019 school year.

During Monday’s board meeting, proposals were reviewed and accepted, including the bid from FTG Security for $264,545 to replace the security camera and video recorder at all the schools. The State of New Hampshire committed to the Hudson school system to provide 80 percent of funding for any improvement in security and access control system up to $544,173. That puts the 80-percent state total at $435,338, leaving a local cost at a maximum of $108,835.

The FTG Security contract was enhanced by $37,200 for higher quality video recording hardware, bringing the total to $301,745. Also during the meeting, a $108,835 required match was approved for “installation of a district-wide camera and access control system.” This is also an enhancement of the FTG system. According to the presentation by Director of Facilities John Pratte, this work will be done by school district staff. Superintendent Russell explained more equipment will be added as part of the FTG system, and all of this will be part of the recommendations of the Homeland Security review of the schools’ systems. A budget transfer was made from multiple salary lines from this year’s (2017-2018) budget.

Also approved during the meeting was the installation of safety bollards for $9,760 and the installation of glass safety protection film for $43,828. Pratte noted that both projects have been recommended by the NH Homeland Security Office. Funds for these projects were transferred from an unspent unemployment budget line and from an emergency safety repairs line item.

While one can project what is needed for security of Hudson students and this 80/20 grant from the state, these cameras will allow surveillance of all school district buildings with internal monitoring capabilities, as well as providing accessibility to the Hudson Police Department.