MARIETTA, OH —Washington State Community College (WSCC) is pleased to be among 27 Ohio institutions of higher education receiving funding for security upgrades from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.
The awarded funds are part of the 2021 Campus Safety Grant Program funded as part of Senate Bill 310 of the 133rd General Assembly. The Ohio School Safety Center reviewed the campus safety grant applications in consultation with the Ohio Department of Higher Education, and the Ohio Controlling Board approved the release of the funds Monday. The Campus Safety Grant Program awards grants competitively to eligible state institutions of higher education to assist the institutions in improving the overall physical security and safety of their buildings on public campuses throughout Ohio.
“I want to thank the Governor and the General Assembly for their leadership and for making campus safety a priority,” said Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor Randy Gardner. “It is important as we begin a new school year to provide this opportunity to enhance security and make our campuses even safer for students, staff and families.”
DeWine announced Monday that a total of $5 million in funding was awarded amongst the 27 institutions. “The commitment to school safety is one that I take seriously,” said Governor DeWine. “By awarding these grants, campuses can go beyond identifying areas that need to be improved by developing and executing plans that promote the wellbeing of staff and students.”
Washington State will be receiving a total of $316,719 which is the highest amount awarded to a community college as part of the 2021 Campus Safety Grant Program. This amount is also the fourth-highest award among all institutions with only the University of Akron, University of Cincinnati, and The Ohio State University receiving larger awards. “The safety of our employees and students is our number one priority at Washington State,” WSCC President Dr. Vicky Wood said. “Thanks to this funding, we will now be able to implement the highest level of preventative safety measures to enhance both the physical and cyber security of our campus. We value the support of Governor DeWine and Chancellor Gardner and are proud to provide a safe and welcoming campus environment that supports the needs of students in our Appalachian region.”
This grant will support the campus’ safety projects including the replacement of WSCC’s entrance doors, enhancements to the video monitoring systems as well as additional cybersecurity measures. “We are grateful for the generous support from Governor DeWine that will further enhance the progress that we’ve already made to upgrade our security on campus,” said Brandon Herb, Director of Facilities at Washington State.
In recent years, the WSCC Board of Trustees approved an armed security presence on campus. At the same time, the campus also invested, for the first time, in security cameras to provide additional monitoring capabilities. Washington State also provides ongoing ALICE Training to the campus in conjunction with local law enforcement.
The Campus Safety Grant Program is one of two new school safety programs launched by the Ohio School Safety Center this year. Governor DeWine created the Ohio School Safety Center in 2019. It is housed in the Ohio Homeland Security Division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety and works to assist local schools, colleges and universities and law enforcement agencies to prevent, prepare for and respond to threats and acts of violence, including self-harm, through a holistic, solutions-based approach to improving school safety.
Higher education institutions receiving funding include:
• Belmont College, $50,000;
• Bowling Green State University, $102,964;
• Central Ohio Technical College, $135,000;
• Central State University, $231,750;
• Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, $162,500;
• Columbus State Community College, $160,000;
• Hocking College, $104,000;
• Kent State University, $210,400;
• Lakeland Community College, $117,168;
• Lorain County Community College, $155,350;
• Miami University, $120,095;
• Northwest State Community College, $174,779;
• Ohio State University, $369,900;
• Ohio University, $168,770;
• Owens Community College, $102,800;
• Rhodes State College, $161,200;
• Rio Grande Community College, $185,446;
• Shawnee State University, $153,998
• Southern State Community College, $149,500;
• Stark State College, $170,100;
• Terra State Community College, $224,783;
• University of Akron, $430,000;
• University of Cincinnati, $430,000;
• University of Toledo, $205,330;
• Washington State Community College, $316,719;
• Youngstown State University, $118,528;
• Zane State College, $88,920