Orcutt district spending school bond money on safety, modernization improvements

Posted at 3:51 PM, Sep 06, 2018

With the start of the new school year, many local schools are implementing new security and safety measures on campus.

The latest school to do that is Alice Shaw Elementary in Orcutt.

Brand new fencing around the school is just one of the new additions to campus. It has a price tag of about $800,000 and was paid for as part of a $60 million school bond.

"We will be doing this with all of our schools," said Dr. Debbie Blow, Superintendent of the Orcutt Union School District. "We started with Alice Shaw because of the event that occurred a couple of years ago. That’s where we needed to put our attention first."

Back in December 2015, six students were injured at Alice Shaw when an elderly driver drove into a group of students standing in line for lunch.

A 2nd grader was pinned under the car.

"We’ve moved where the students enter the lunch area to the back of that building to improve security there," Dr. Blow said.

The new fencing around the school means one way in and one way out, leaving visitors to check in through the school office.

"Additionally, we’ve had times where students go off campus and that’s been a problem as well, so now students won’t be able to go off campus without being with an adult and without being checked out of the office," Dr. Blow continued.

Buses will be separated from the parking lot where parents pick up and drop off kids in an effort to ensure safety. 

But the changes do not stop at Alice Shaw Elementary School, that’s just where it’s started.

There are nine schools in the district that will all get a piece of the $60 million bond.

The projects will happen over the next couple of years.

As part of this first project, the school district is looking to modernize the classrooms and bathrooms at Olga Reed Elementary School in Los Alamos.

The district says it’s breaking up the work into $15 million projects.