The West Baton Rouge School Board once again revisited security discussions Wednesday night, April 17, during their regular board meeting.
During the Superintendent’s Report, David Corona mentioned that the board and the school system staff are continuously learning more about security processes and what security equipment might best suit area schools.
“It’s fair to say that we’ve learned a lot in terms of what’s out there, in terms of what you want to accomplish based upon the visits that Major Fontenot and Sheriff Cazes and myself and Mr. (Jeff) Kershaw had,” said Corona. “We’re moving forward with that process.”
WBRSO Major Jerome Fontenot and WBR Sheriff Mike Cazes have agreed to help the school board in their search for better security after the December 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman opened fire in an elementary school, killing 26 people including 20 children before committing suicide.
Fontenot and Cazes, along with Corona and WBR Schools’ maintenance head, Jeff Kershaw, walked through each of the parish’s schools in February, along with the rest of the school board members, to get a better idea of what needed to be done at each school in terms of security and maintenance. Corona is now entertaining vendors, who provide information on specific equipment, which Corona relays to the board, who will ultimately make any purchasing decisions.
“We learn from each vendor we meet with; we learn something new about the process,” Kershaw said to the board during the meeting. “We understand that this isn’t going to be an easy process, but when it’s all said and done you’ll be satisfied with what we bring to you and let you guys make a decision on.”
Corona also said that maintenance issues found during the February 16 walkthrough of schools are being addressed.
He said that possible gas leaks at Devall Middle and Port Allen High schools have already been addressed by the parish, and by the school board’s maintenance department, respectively.
In a handout to each board member, Corona listed each of the maintenance issues that have been, and are being addressed. The list included, but are not limited to:
• River City Roofing is addressing all roof leaks as noted on Feb. 16th (DMS, Chamberlin, Cohn, PAMS, BMS, BHS)
• Old chemicals at high schools – Principals willl be notified to have their science teachers label those that need to be removed. Maintenance will remove them and work with parish officials for their proper disposal.
• Electrical issues at meter box at BMS and LUES are being addressed.
• Signs for identifying all buildings on school campuses are on order.
In other news, the school board received a dividend check from LWCC (Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Corporation), a mutual interest company based in Baton Rouge, in the amount of $96,929.
LWCC determined, in 2003, that they were able to begin giving dividends back to policy holders, like the WBR School Board.
“Over those 10 years, we have returned back to you in dividends $309,569,” said C.A. Altazan, LWCC employee and former WBR School Board member-at-large. “Hopefully we continue to give you dividends for many, many years to come.”