St. Clairsville, OH (August 31, 2021) – Belmont College is pleased to announce that as part of Governor DeWine’s $5 Million grant for Higher Education Campus Security Upgrades they have been awarded $50,000.
“The commitment to school safety is one that I take seriously,” said Governor DeWine. “By awarding these grants, campuses can go beyond identifying areas that need to be improved by developing and executing plans that promote the wellbeing of staff and students.”
With the grant funding, Belmont plans to purchase safety items that will be used to integrate the College’s organizational preparedness into broader state and local preparedness.
“We are appreciative of the support from Governor DeWine and the General Assembly for the campus security upgrades funding,” said Dr. Paul Gasparro, President. “2020 and COVID-19 have brought unique challenges for all of us, and I am grateful for this funding, which will enable us to make critical changes to our campus to help keep our College Community safe.”
He continued, “The safety of our students, staff, and visitors is of utmost importance and this funding will assist in putting further safeguards in place for their security.”
With the funding, Belmont College will implement photo ID access badges for all students and employees, along with a visitor control system. This will allow the College to track all access to campus buildings.
Gasparro remarked “The COVID-19 pandemic has proven the need to provide public health officials with accurate records of who is in our campus buildings and when they are there, to assist with contact tracing. By using photo ID badges, we will be more equipped to track this information. It will also provide us with the opportunity to share relevant information with first responders in the event of an incident, such as a fire or active shooter situation.”
Additionally, the grant funding will be used to secure the Main Campus Academic Technical Center from vehicle intrusions into the courtyard with the purchase of removable bollards. This safety measure will help to reduce the risk of injury to pedestrians as well as the possibility of vehicle intrusion to the Main Campus building pedestrian pathways.
“I want to thank the Governor and the General Assembly for their leadership and for making campus safety a priority,” said Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor Randy Gardner. “It is important as we begin a new school year to provide this opportunity to enhance security and make our campuses even safer for students, staff, and families.”
To be eligible for grant funding, schools conducted a security and vulnerability assessment to identify potential areas for improvement. Eligible expenses include but are not limited to improved lighting in parking lots, security cameras at building entrances, and secure doors.
Governor DeWine created the Ohio School Safety Center in 2019. It is housed in the Ohio Homeland Security Division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety and 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.
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