Local Catholic school receives safety grant from state of Michigan

NOW: Local Catholic school receives safety grant from state of Michigan

ST. JOSEPH, Mi. -- First introduced in 2015, Michigan's Competitive School Safety Grant Program was created to provide funding for schools to make upgrades to school security equipment, to help keep students, staff and faculty safe.

This year-- Governor Whitmer announced $66 million had been set aside for the grants-- and that three-hundred and sixty-six eligible applications were filed. 

This week, Our Lady of the Lake Catholic School-- long known as Lake Michigan Catholic-- was one of one-hundred and fifty other Michigan schools whose applications were approved. 

This comes after Michigan lawmakers filed a lawsuit back in 2020, after federal CARES Act funding was denied for private schools trying to safely re-open during the pandemic-- and now Michigan taxpayer money can be used for certain private school expenses mandated by state law. 

“The fact that we’re a private school and we have to raise funds to try and do these kinds of things, this is a big plus to us," said Larry Glendening, Director of Business Operations for Our Lady of the Lake Catholic School. “Even though we have security in place—this adds another level to it.”

The school received $77 thousand to pay for a new communication system in the elementary school-- replacing the nearly thirty-year old system placed when the building was first constructed-- and allowing for office personnel to have access to open school doors remotely.

A new key-card entry system will also be installed at the schools.

Glendening said there are more improvements that can be made at the school-- though he feels these new measures will reassure parents.

“It’s going to definitely make them feel good," he said. "Good about the safety of their children and about the school addressing those needs, and making sure that their children are safe. In this day and age, that is high on everyone’s mind.”

This is an annual grant, meaning Our Lady of the Lake-- and any other public, private or parochial school-- can apply again next year if they're looking to make more needed security upgrades for their buildings. 

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