The Canal Winchester Times

New security cameras to be installed at CWHS


Canal Winchester High School will be gaining extra security measures next school year as a result of action taken at the May 20 board of education meeting.

Currently, the high school has 37 surveillance cameras that operate under two separate systems.

Superintendent Jim Sotlar said all the existing cameras will be replaced and nine new ones will be added; all will be part of a single operating system.

Because the current system is 10 years old, replacements no longer exist for critical parts of the main system, according to Sotlar.

"Also, there are presently two separate camera systems being used at the high school," he said. "Because of this, viewing and retrieval is time-consuming."

The new system, which will be installed by Vision Concept Technology in June, will cost about $120,000 with an extended warranty in place.

Funding for the cameras will come from the district's permanent improvement accounts, which can only be used for the improvement and maintenance of facilities. The updated system is expected to provide "better-quality video and to increase the coverage of areas in and around the high school," Sotlar said.

While one of the existing camera systems can no longer be used, the second one -- which includes 10 digital cameras -- will be installed in the district's education center at 100 Washington St.

"Rather than throwing these cameras away, the cameras and software we already own will be moved to our education center," Sotlar said. "We have no cameras there presently, so this will help increase security at that location."

In addition to updating the surveillance system at the high school, permanent improvement funds will be used to make changes to the building's entrance for the 2013-14 school year.

The modification is being put into place to increase building security and provide for the safety of students, Sotlar said.

"The entrance is being changed to drive foot traffic through the office after school starts each day," he said.

School personnel will be able to use a monitor to view people wanting to enter the building after school has started and then push a button to provide them with access.

In other matters May 20, the board of education approved moving the current bus fueling station at the high school about 600 feet away from its present site to accommodate larger above-ground fuel tanks. According to Sotlar, the district is partnering with Canal Winchester and Madison Township on this project so all can save money on fuel costs.

"Ultimately, this will result in lower costs by allowing all groups to purchase fuel at wholesale prices," he said. "Cost-sharing for one facility is much cheaper than each group funding its own facility."

While the city and township are on board for the proposed fueling station, Sotlar said some of the site plans still need to be run through the city and a billing agreement for fuel used still needs to be worked out.