These efforts are included in the $5 million in safety and security upgrades approved by the Board earlier this school year. Mike Clausen, deputy superintendent, explained that the district evaluated all facilities to determine ways to improve safety.
This summer, security vestibules will be constructed at Lomax Elementary School and the LPISD Administration Building. The Board approved the guaranteed maximum price (GMP) of $445,372 to provide this additional level of security at both locations. Security vestibules are already in place at all other LPISD campuses and support facilities.
A parking lot will be added to the La Porte High School campus in the area next to the tennis courts directly across from Bulldog Centre. The lot, which will be used for event parking only and will include more than 400 spaces, will be open for after-school events such as those at Bulldog Centre, the baseball and softball fields, tennis courts, and Bulldog Stadium. This will improve safety in that those attending these activities will not have to park on the street or walk from the other parking lots.
The parking lot will also be used as the area for after-school band practice; in the past, band members have practiced in the junior parking lot south of Bulldog Stadium. Because the new lot will not be used for student parking, safety concerns with cars driving through the lot during practice time will be eliminated.
In addition to the upcoming projects, La Porte ISD has completed a variety of safety/security improvements and enhancements over the past year. For example, radio upgrades have been made to ensure effective communication among La Porte ISD facilities, buses, and the police department. The installation of fencing at some schools now separates public areas from those where children play, and alarms are also being installed on doors that should not be opened during the school day.
La Porte ISD was one of only two Texas school districts to receive a federal grant ($410,310) from the Bureau of Justice Assistance for the prevention of school violence. The grant is an extension of the Students, Teachers and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act of 2018, which is being used to train school personnel and educate students. As part of this grant, an anonymous reporting system, Safe Reports, allows students, family members and concerned citizens to make reports via the LPISD website regarding issues that many impact the safety and well-being of students and staff. The grant also provides for additional counselors whose primary focus will be on student safety and emotional well-being.