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New buses, roofs, security cameras: Columbus school board approves millions in upgrades

School board leaders made some big decisions that could impact a student's entire day from the moment they leave the house to the time they get home.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — New buses, security cameras, and vital infrastructure repairs.

Tuesday night, Columbus City Schools Board of Education gave the the green light to millions of safety upgrades for students.

As the largest school district in the state, it's not unusual for the board to have on its hands million-dollar decisions.

"We're a $1.2 billion operation,” said Jacqueline Bryant, Communications Director of CCS.

Here's what's the board voted for:

  • A $200,000 increase in asbestos and mold remediation services, bringing the total to $400,000 for repair work.
  • An increase of $30,000 for a total of $155,000 for roof repairs.
  • Nearly $8.5 million for the purchase of 60 new buses with increased safety features.

A lot of this comes from the General Fund.

The board also approved a plan to use nearly a million dollars from the Ohio K-12 School Safety Grant to buy surveillance and electronic monitoring equipment at 19 schools identified in the grant.

"Once this is approved, they can start scheduling out that work,” Bryant said. “And it will be ongoing, we're not expected to be completed all 19 sites by the start of the school year, but it will go on."

The district is looking to purchase 60 new buses with specific safety features to help prevent rollovers and collisions.

On these new buses, there's a camera mounted in the windshield, and radar in the bumper, that work together for automatic braking and keeping a safe distance from other traffic.

“We hope to have the buses, the 60 buses in place by this time next year,” Bryant said.

As for the timing of mold and asbestos remediation as well as roof repair, there is no set timeline for that work right now.

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