GREENWOOD, Ind. — The City of Greenwood is spending a million dollars to fortify school buildings in the city. 

Mayor Mark Myers announced today that the city would divvy up some of its American Rescue Plan money to three different districts.

Greenwood received nearly $6 million from the ARP and decided to give one million of it to its three local districts. Clark-Pleasant Community School Corporation, Center Grove and Greenwood Community will each get $333 thousand to make security upgrades.

Myers said the scenes from the mass killing in Uvalde, Texas, were the driving force. 

“When we saw what happened there it just automatically clicked in my mind that’s just makes sense this is the right thing to do,” Mayor Myers said.

Myers said the money is only for physical safety improvements. 

“We want to keep our kids safe,” Mayor Myers said. “We want to try to protect them as much as we can.”

Hundreds of cameras keep a watchful eye on students at Clark-Pleasant schools and the district is preparing to enhance their capabilities with the new funding.

“Especially with the way we are growing, it just gives us the ability to enhance it improve it make it better,” said Clark-Pleasant Schools Police Chief Chad Pryce.

Another one of the improvements the district is working towards is patching its dispatch in with other law enforcement agencies in Johnson County. The district will also be adding facial recognition technology to its cameras and what are called “halo sensors.” 

“These are sensors that you can put around the schools to detect things like motion. If there’s an explosion or if there’s a loud noise all of a sudden like a fight break out or something of that nature,” Superintendent Patrick Spray said. “They can also detect things like vaping.”

Greenwood’s superintendent released a statement about the additional funding.

“This funding will enhance our current safety efforts throughout our district and helps us move forward in big ways with providing additional school safety,” said Terry Terhune, superintendent of Greenwood Community Schools. “Our daily goal is to make sure staff, students and parents feel safe in our schools, and we thank the City of Greenwood for investing in safety efforts for various school districts.”

Center Grove said school safety is a top priority and this new funding will help them achieve that goal.

“We have been working diligently with our School Board to add needed safety measures and mental health resources using funds as they become available through our budget process, grant opportunities, and partnerships with area agencies,” said Rich Arkanoff, Ed.D., Superintendent of Center Grove Community School Corporation. “While we have made some progress, safety is not a box that can be checked off of our list. We will continue to work on both proactive and reactive ways to improve the well-being and security in our district.”

The ordinance that will provide the funding still has to be approved by the city council. Final approval is expected at the meeting on October 17.