The Escondido Union School District celebrated the near-completion of a $2.2 million fencing project at four elementary schools last week.
School officers and friends gathered at Hidden Valley Middle School for a ribbon cutting after completion of the schools 7- to 8-foot steel fencing at the front of the school and chain link fencing around the rest.
“These schools were just wide open and the fences help give direct access to the office, where we have installed security cameras so we know who is coming in,” said Superintendent Luis Ibarra.
He told the assembled dignitaries from the city and district that “back in July, 2014 on my second day on the job I was called to the board to discuss whether we should move forward with the bond election. I said, without a doubt we need to move forward.”
He added, “We have not compromised quality and I’m happy to report that these projects have come in under budget. And I haven’t heard anyone complain,at least not in front of me.”
The board agreed and voters passed Proposition E in November of that year. The bond brought in $182.1 million for improvements in three areas, facilities, school safety and information technology for the schools.
The fencing and security project is the first in a series of 10 projects costing $62 million, officials said.
The fences will improve security in this era of school shootings and terrorism, they added.
“Student safety and security is the first priority of our programs funded through Proposition E. We are excited to share this completed Proposition E fencing project with our community,” said Russell Decker, EUSD Director of Facilities.
The district has completed fencing for Oak Hill Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, Hidden Valley Middle and fencing will be installed this summer at LR Green Elementary.
Representatives from the Proposition E Independent Citizens Oversight Committee attended the event along with EUSD students, parents, and staff.
Mayor Sam Abed, Councilmember Olga Diaz and Police Chief Craig Carter were on hand as well.