The Kentucky School for the Deaf (KSD) Advisory Board discussed legislative updates regarding House Bill 1 (HB 1) and shared capital project updates at its Feb. 8 meeting.
Carol Ann Morrison, division director in the Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDE’s) Office of Special Education and Early Learning, said that HB 1 – the state’s budget bill – passed in the House and is now in the Senate. The bill includes requested funding for capital projects at KSD, such as HVAC, roof and dorm renovations.
Morrison said if HB 1 passes as it stands now, KSD will receive funding to help support an increase in certified salaries. It also would cover two fiscal years and includes a 6% salary increase for state employees.
Safety and Capital Project Updates
Andrew Hourigan, safety director at KSD, provided the board with updates regarding campus safety.
Hourigan said a new state-of-the-art security system has been installed campus-wide, which includes cameras and a keyless entry system. He also mentioned Raptor, a newly installed visitor management system that enhances school security. Raptor scans a visitor’s driver’s license or government-issued ID, comparing information against a sex offender database to alert school administrators and police if a match is found. Once cleared, a visitor badge is printed that includes a photo, name, date, time and destination.
KSD began using Alertus, the new emergency alert system, two weeks ago and Hourigan said it has been a good addition so far. With the program, Hourigan can send messages to electronic devices like cell phones and computers on campus with alerts about emergencies, such as fires or tornadoes.
He said KDE and KSD have pushed for more funding for campus security, and he is hoping to install fencing and more surveillance on campus later this year.
Walter T. Hulett, a capital projects consultant for both KSD and the Kentucky School for the Blind, shared campus improvement updates.
Jacobs Hall and the campus pool renovations have been completed. KSD Principal Toyah Robey said the pool is being painted and she hopes it can be filled with water in March. Hulett said inspectors will come to check all the plumbing and equipment to make sure it is ready to open.
He also said the Argo classroom building is 98% done. Later this spring, the plan is to repave sidewalks and parking lots and replace lighting throughout the campus, along with fixing roofing and the HVAC system in the gym. A new maintenance shed also is being installed to house equipment and help prevent vandalism and theft.