Alaska School Boosts Security to Cover Additional 600 Students

Alaska School Boosts Security to Cover Additional 600 Students

Chugiak High School is increasing security and adding more surveillance cameras to its campus to cover the additional 600 students moved to the campus after an earthquake rendered Gruening Middle School unsafe.

After a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Anchorage, Alaska, on Nov. 30, Gruening Middle School was deemed unsafe and its 600 students were moved to the Chugiak High School campus. The Anchorage School Board approved Monday a recommendation to add more security and surveillance cameras to increase safety for the additional students.

"We've got added students out there, added staff and we need to make sure we have cameras in areas that maybe weren't populated," school board president Starr Marsett said. "And so, making sure all of our students were safe just for various reasons that we need those extra cameras working. Heaven forbid, should anything happen, we want to make sure our students are safe."

An access control system has also been recommended for the campus. The system will allow the school to regulate points of entry for the high school—up to 10 exterior doors.

The new surveillance cameras will not be placed in classrooms or restrooms. Instead, they’ll be installed to cover hallways and other areas.

The school’s current system of analog cameras consists of 33 cameras, which are outdated and beginning to fail.

The new IP camera system for the campus will include about 64 cameras and multiple viewing workstations on-site for administrators and security staff.

Marsett said the security camera footage will be visible by the Anchorage Police Department. "So, if there ever is the off chance of a shooter or anything like that, those cameras would work for that," she said.

The new system will cost almost $500,000, with funds coming from money not spent in previous bonds.

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Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.