When 600 students are moved from one school and placed into another, there's a good chance more monitoring and security will need to follow. That's what happened after the November 30th earthquake. Gruening Middle School in Eagle River was deemed unsafe and the students were moved to Chugiak High School.

On Monday night at the Anchorage School Board meeting, the board approved a recommendation to increase security and surveillance cameras on the Chugiak High School campus.

"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."

To improve the safety and security for students and staff, an access control system is also recommended for installation. The system will be implemented on up to 10 exterior doors and will allow the school to regulate points of entry for the building.  

According to Marsett, the security camera footage is fed to 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 cameras will not go into classrooms and restrooms but will be in hallways and areas that can be observed.

The current analog camera system consists of 33 existing cameras, is outdated and starting to fail. The new IP camera system for the 289,000 square foot campus will contain about 64 cameras and multiple viewing workstations for administration and security staff on site.

Funds for the new system will amount to nearly $500,000 and would come from money not spent in previous bonds. The school board needed prior approval from the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development in order to use the funds, Marsett said.

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