AISD details security enhancements on horizon from $87.7 million bond

AISD bond money will improve security

ABILENE, Texas - The lock down incident at Jane Long Elementary School in AISD reminded many of the $87.7 million dollar bond passed by voters last November of which about $11.5 million was earmarked for security upgrades and enhancements.

We talked to AISD administration Friday about how those dollars might help if something like this were to happen again.

"Each campus throughout the district is going to receive some kind of security and safety upgrade. That goes for everything from perimeter fencing, cameras on the interior and exterior of each school and so on," said AISD Communication Director, Phil Ashby.

Ashby tells us many changes are on the way to make schools in AISD even safer for students and staff.

"As far as access to our campus, a lot of the upgrades will limit that access to the public but a parent who comes to our school will always show up at the main office and then have the right to sign their child out if there are no other issues," he said.

One upgrade that is on the horizon for several campuses: new security vestibules.

"What that is is a secure area where the school can buzz in someone from a locked door. They're contained in the office area and can't enter other areas of the campus until they show a form of identification and are approved to go elsewhere on the campus."

All new campuses built in AISD will have the vestibules. They will also be put on old campuses where design allows. There are some schools where design won't allow. Those will have cameras stationed on the front doors which will be locked after the school day begins and visitors will have to be buzzed in after identifying themselves.

"One part of the security aspect that will be added to our campuses, that would have been beneficial in a situation like Jane Long, would have been the cameras. The principal or his designee could have been watching that. When the Abilene Police came on board they could have seen it and they could have seen multiple views of the campus," said Ashby.

Ashby also told us they are in close communication with local authorities about the safety of their district.

"We meet regularly with APD to talk about security measures, how we can improve. and I think yesterday was an example of how two organizations are working together and it benefits our kids and our community,"said Ashby.

The district says they bidding process for about ten campuses will begin as early as July and work should start immediately after.

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