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Superior nets school safety grant

The Superior School District snagged a school safety grant for $152,261 from the Wisconsin Department of Justice in the latest round of grant awards, according to a news release issued Thursday by Attorney General Brad Schimel.

He announced a total of 147 school districts will receive more than $10 million in grants in this round of funding. The money must be earmarked for building safety improvements, which can include training for faculty and staff.

The Superior district will use the bulk of the grant to improve the ability of law enforcement officers within buildings to communicate with district staff, dispatch and other responders, a need that became clear during the Husky Energy refinery fire, according to a news release issued by the school district. Radio repeaters will be installed at every school building to provide clear communication.

Additional money will equip Superior schools with panic lockdown buttons, camera monitors for each school’s main office and police liaison office, security film for entrance doors and windows, and staff training on adverse childhood experiences and trauma-informed care.

They will be added to recent safety improvements made following a successful $92.5 million referendum for capital improvements in 2016, which also included a new Cooper Elementary School and renovation of Superior High School. The district reconfigured the main entrances to all school buildings in order to provide a double layer of security — a camera buzz-in system allowing staff to view visitors before giving them clearance to enter.

A total of $100 million is available through the School Safety Grant Initiative. According to Schimel, 735 schools and districts have requested a share of the one-time funds.

The safety grant legislation was passed by state legislators and signed by Gov. Scott Walker in March, in the wake of the Parkland school shooting that left 17 dead in Florida.