AUSTIN (KXAN) – There is a new fence surrounding one side of McCallum High School.
“Safety and security for our students is the top priority,” said Michael Mann, executive director of construction management for Austin Independent School District.
The new fencing just recently went up at McCallum, but the plans to add safety upgrades to campuses around Austin ISD were made possible back in November, when the 2022 Bond Package was passed by voters.
“We are in the first wave of getting these fencing projects rolled out,” Mann said.
In August, students at McCallum were met outside the front of the school by demonstrators with anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion signs.
“That was an example of why we want to have a secure perimeter, but it wasn’t what specifically spurred us, this was already in the plans,” Mann said.
McCallum Principal Andy Baxa said there have been instances over the years that have raised concerns, but these new fences should help.
“We have had a few instances with community members coming onto our campus and a fence would help to prevent those occurrences from happening,” said Baxa.
Mann said there are plans for more fencing and security upgrades, not only for McCallum, but for all campuses that need upgrades.
Cameras, upgraded locking systems and security vestibules are in the plans for almost every school.
“We have 113 campuses, so there are a lot of campuses to both install and both maintain those systems,” Mann said.
In November 2022, voters approved the largest bond in Austin ISD history, which was $2.44 billion.