Security measures taken in response to a rash of violent threats at Pickerington High School Central have cost the district more than $12,000, but school officials say they've been effective.

Security measures taken in response to a rash of violent threats at Pickerington High School Central have cost the district more than $12,000, but school officials say they've been effective.

According to principal M. Scott Reeves, the halls at his high school have been quieter than normal in the last month.

In the wake of the threats, which forced lockdowns, evacuations and student searches Feb. 18-20, two to four substitute teachers began serving as hall monitors each day.

"(The hall monitors) have done a great job keeping our halls very clear while class is in session," Reeves said. "We will keep them at the school for the remainder of the year."

From Feb. 20 to March 15, the school district spent $5,755 to maintain the hall monitors at Central, according to treasurer Dan Griscom. The individuals are paid $90 to $100 per day.

Additionally, the district purchased and installed nine security cameras at Central immediately following the incidents, which led to the expulsion of three female students. The move increased the camera total at the school to more than 30 and cost the district around $7,000, said Vince Utterback, district business and facilities manager.

"That's for the cameras, installation and pulling wire through the building," he said.

The upgrades and hall monitors are being financed from the district's general operating fund.

The increased security, coupled with swift discipline against the alleged perpetrators, has returned the focus at Central to education, Reeves said.

"We haven't had any issues," he said.

School officials say the threats, made through handwritten notes and text messages, showed the need to support a May 5 levy, which would avail the district to $50-million in Ohio Schools Facilities Commission funds if voters renew and extend a 0.5-mill building maintenance levy through 2032.

If passed, the state funds would be used to upgrade or replace everything from lights, windows, roofs and fire alarm systems at Central, Ridgeview Junior High School and Fairfield, Pickerington and Violet elementary schools.

A substantial portion of that funding would be put toward security upgrades at the five schools, which Superintendent Karen Mantia has said would free up money for upgrades at the remaining district buildings.