Winona Area Public Schools adding extra security across schools

The Winona School district is seeing some much-needed renovations.

“It’s been quite a while in the making,” said Buildings and Grounds Director for Winona Area Public Schools, Mike McArdle.

In 2018 a referendum passed awarding Winona Area Public Schools 9.42 million dollars. Once passed, the school district started at aging infrastructure, like the high school parking lot.

“It was in terrible condition there were potholes all over. Very deep potholes, and you just had to learn how to drive around all of that,” Dr. Annette Freiheit, Superintendent of Winona Area Public Schools.

“We got the first layer of asphalt off and what we saw underneath was very wet, very muddy,” remembered McArdle.

Although the parking lot needed a facelift, it was not the primary focus of the referendum. Winona Area Public Schools is one of many districts across the nation that feels a need to invest in security.

“We hear about it all the time, these things are going on at all these schools,” said McArdle.

The school district hopes that the referendum funding going to additional cameras will help staff keep an eye out for dangers.

“If we can have cameras all over the place, then we know we got eyes on all the different hallways and corridors. All the nooks and crannies of the schools,” explained McArdle.

Another effort in increasing security will be a clearance process for visitors.

“People come in, they get checked in first before they completely enter the building, so they go through clearance.”

But it’s not just the school that feels it must ramp up security, Superintendent Freiheit knows that the voters who passed the referendum want safer schools as well.

“That’s just being really good stewards of the dollars that we get from our taxpayers to support the projects we have going on.”

Get your weather forecast from people that actually live in your community. We update with short, easy-to-use video forecasts you can watch on your phone every day. Download the iOS or Android app here.