Click here to view the article on The Chronicle Website - written by Dave O'Brien

Seven Midview school district buildings will share $200,000 in state school safety grants, money that will be used to improve security systems such as cameras.

Little Middies Preschool, Midview East Elementary School, Midview Academy/Midview Virtual School, Midview High School, Midview Middle School, North Elementary School and West Elementary School will receive $28,571 each from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission.

The grants were among $4.8 million in grants to improve nearly 100 Ohio schools in 27 counties that were announced by Gov. Mike DeWine's office on Thursday. Midview was the only Lorain County school district to receive money in this round of grant funding.

Funds will be used to cover expenses associated with physical security enhancements such as security cameras, public address systems, automatic door locks and visitor badging systems.

Midview schools Superintendent Bruce Willingham said his district always tries to get grants from the state to offset costs for taxpayers.

"We've been super lucky, to not have a ton of (security) issues," Willingham said. "For us, that upgrade of a system is huge. Not having to pull $200,000 out of our general fund to do it is even better."

The district's elementary buildings are more than 15 years old and its middle school turns 10 this year, so "some of the systems are getting a little older," he said.

"With some of the older cameras, there are blind spots or not the same amount of (video) storage," Willingham said. "This will allow us to cover the blind spots both inside and outside our buildings."

Newer security camera systems have motion detectors and remote access for school officials.

The district is hoping to revamp its key fob/door entry systems and security cameras across the entire district.

In a statement from his office, DeWine said he cares deeply "about every child in Ohio, and this will help ensure that more students are learning in an environment where they can feel safe and secure."

"Today's kids are tomorrow's leaders, and we applaud the school districts that are proactively looking for ways to protect both their students and staff," the governor said.

The K-12 School Safety Grant Program is one of two new school safety programs first launched by the Ohio School Safety Center in 2021, created by DeWine in 2019.

Through the Ohio Homeland Security Division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, it works to assist local schools, colleges and universities, and law enforcement agencies to prevent, prepare for, and respond to threats and acts of violence, including self-harm, through a holistic, solutions-based approach to improving school safety.

The Campus Safety Grant Program also has provided money to 27 institutions of higher education in Ohio for security enhancements on their campuses, including more than $155,000 to Lorain County Community College.