DILLON, SC (WBTW) – Two State Representatives want to upgrade school security in Dillon County. 
The Dillon County Board of Education says 11 of the 13 schools in the district are older, some nearly 100 years old.
School Board Chairman Richard Schafer says East Elementary was built in the 1920’s, which could make rewiring a challenge.


“This 1926 building… it has a 1926 electrical system in it. As far as internet service in it and things like that it’s a very hard to access,” said Schafer. “We have some very severe situations that need to be addressed.”

Last week, State Representatives Jackie Hayes and Lucas Atkinson asked the board hire someone to survey security needs at each school in the county.
“I want to make sure all kids… I want them to feel safe and have a safe environment for learning,” said Hayes.


Tuesday, the board agreed to hire an architect using $30,000 from the school Sales Tax Fund of $6 million dollars.

John Miliacca with SFLA Architects from Raleigh, NC said, “I’m working on a checklist right now of all of the components that make up a secure entrance.”

Miliacca says the firm will go to each school and study the security features like video cameras and evacuation routes.  

Other items the firm will look at:

  • More secure front entrances (electronic and TV monitors for visitors area)
  • Exit signage
  • Door controls
  • Visibility/ surveillance
  • Bullet resistant glazing
  • Playgrounds/ parking lot.

They also plan to talk with administration and students about features they will like to see.  

“If anybody knows where there is a school safety issue. It’s the students and the teachers. We’ve got to become assessable from those points of view,” said Schafer. “The students are our first line of defense when combating these problems.”

The school board is hopeful federal money will become available after the survey is complete since Dillon County spends the lowest amount of money per student in the state.
“I’m very confident there will be some funds coming out of Washington. So I want to be prepared and be up on the top of the list,” said Hayes.


Schafer predicts the security upgrade recommendations may total millions of dollars.
“I pray to God it doesn’t turn into a monetary issue and we will be able to solve issues even though they are expensive,” he concludes.

The deadline for the survey is April 15th.
The board will take the recommendations to the house members shortly after.