An additional security measure will soon be put in place at all Granbury ISD campuses following a unanimous vote from the GISD school board during its monthly meeting on April 24.
The board approved the purchase of security window film and impact protection adhesive that will be installed at every campus in the district to safeguard against potential intruders.
Emmett Whitefield, chief financial officer for GISD, said that the total expenditure of the film purchase for all 10 campuses — plus Little Buccaneers GISD Staff Childcare Center — is $353,767 from the lowest bidder: Epic Solar Control of McKinney.
Whitefield also said that the funding for the film will be provided by a $400,000 state security grant.
Grant funding was offered by the state to every district in Texas to assist with the recent mandate from the Texas Education Agency.
According to the Campus Safety Magazine, the TEA is now mandating that each school district and open-enrollment charter school install entry-resistant film on ground-floor windows, glass doors, and windows near glass doors.
Specifically, TEA is requiring that, “Windowed doors on the ground level or windows that are adjacent to or near a door and are large enough to allow someone to enter if broken must be reinforced with entry resistant film unless within a secured area.”
According to Business Wire, the State of Texas Legislative Budget Board approved a total of $400 million to assist school districts in "replacing or upgrading doors, windows, fencing, communications, and other safety measures to get compliant with the new Texas school safety standards established in November of 2022."
However, Whitefield said that Granbury ISD must use the grant money specifically for the security window films before the district can spend the money on other projects.
“It's true that one of the stipulations of the grant is that you have to meet certain level of criteria, and one of those criteria was intruder resistant film,” confirmed Wade Clark, GISD chief of security during the meeting. “It's something though that we actually will benefit from, and it will harden our facilities and make our facilities much more difficult for somebody to gain entry to.”
Clark explained that the inner trim is removed from the windows first, and then the 3M Ultra 800 Safety Film is installed and locked in before the trim is put back in place.
“The difference is, without this film, you could go up to some of these windows and throw a rock through them and the whole glass pane just falls out, and then you can walk through,” he said. “With this film in place, you can (hit) on it for a long time with a baseball bat, you can shoot holes in it, you can kick it, you'll spend a lot of time before you ever have a hole in it large enough that you could physically enter.”
Clark said he also spoke with the security at Princeton ISD who said they had a situation where students tried to break in one night — however, due to the security window film, they were unsuccessful.
"They spent almost 15 to 20 minutes on video trying to get in, never got in, but damaged the window pretty badly … but if that film buys you that kind of time, then it's worth it,” he said.
Clark also elaborated on additional minimum requirements that the grant mandated including: a silent panic alarm system, secured vestibules, fencing requirements, and the electronic control to lock out exterior doors — all of which every GISD campus now has in place.
"The silent panic alarm piece was done in the beginning of the year with a different grant — the SPAT grant — and that's when we added the Raptor alert system for all staff members to be able to sound an alarm from wherever they are,” he said.
School systems are required to source a contractor by August 2023 and certify compliance by the beginning of the 2023 school year, according to blr.com.
“I want to thank the collaboration between Wade Clark and our security department in the business office,” added GISD Superintendent Jeremy Glenn. “Obtaining a $400,000 grant is pretty remarkable in and of itself, even if $350,000 has to be spent a certain way — it’s something that we need, and we can use it.”
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