Ohio schools and universities eligible to share in $10 million safety grant

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – The Ohio School Safety Center will award a total of $10 million in grants to fund security enhancements at K-12 public schools and institutions of higher education in Ohio.

The 2021 Campus Safety Grant Program, which began accepting applications Wednesday, will award $5 million to qualifying public colleges and universities for improvements to physical security on their campuses.

“This funding will allow colleges and universities to further collaborate with their first responders and safety professionals to help make our campuses a safe place to learn, visit and reside,” said Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor Randy Gardner.

The 2021 K-12 Safety Grant Program, administered by the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC), will award an additional $5 million to qualifying public K-12 schools for similar school safety expenses.

“I encourage all eligible public K-12 schools to apply for a K-12 Safety Grant,” said OFCC Executive Director Cheryl J. Lyman “This grant is an opportunity to support schools as they provide environments that are safe and conducive to learning and achievement.”

Both grant programs were funded as part of Senate Bill 310 of the 133rd General Assembly.

To qualify for grant funding, schools must first conduct a security and vulnerability assessment to identify potential areas for improvement. Funding would then be awarded to mitigate the identified safety gaps. Eligible expenses include but are not limited to improved lighting in parking lots, security cameras at building entrances and secure doors.

Public colleges and universities applying for a 2021 Campus Safety Grant can submit an electronic application from now through July 16, and awards will be announced in August. OFCC will share the application and additional information with public K-12 school buildings in mid-to-late summer. Awardees for the K-12 grants are anticipated to be announced in early 2022.

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