Various Bonds and Loans Available for School Safety Projects

Apr 27, 2018

A trio of southern Illinois school districts this week learned about how to fund school safety improvements.

Administrators from Vienna District 55, North Wayne District 200 in Cisne and Norris City-Omaha-Enfield District 3 heard about various bond and loan options.

North Wayne District superintendent David Reavis says his school board members are ready to make a move.

"As of right now, we are revamping our entire security system. We've got a security company coming in, new cameras, new security doors, everything else."

NCOE superintendent Matt Vollman says school districts are under pressure - and rightfully so - to make sure their buildings are safe places to learn.

"We don't want to go skimpy on what we're doing with our safety. So, yeah, we are obligated to spend some money and make sure that our kids are as safe as can be when they come to school."

Kevin Wills with First Midstate Incorporated made the presentation.

He says the rash of school shootings in recent years makes this a crucial issue. He says it's a delicate balancing act for schools. The key is transparency.

"It requires a lot of just conversation in public, at meetings to educate folks on, 'hey, here are our options, right? Hey, here's what we need to do. Here's what's being suggested to us to do. Here's what's it's going to cost. Are you ok if we pass that on to the taxpayers?'"

Wills says his firm works with over 20 school districts from Mt. Vernon south on their school safety funding issues.