St. Francis-St. Hedwig upgrading security

NAUGATUCK — Security improvements are in the works at St. Francis-St. Hedwig School thanks to a state grant.

The pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade school, Naugatuck’s only parochial schools, recently received a $79,216 School Security Competitive grant from the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.

“The state has done a couple of rounds providing safety grants for schools. This second round included private parochial schools,” St. Hedwig-St. Francis School Principal John Salatto said.

The grant is a matching grant, which means the school will receive the same amount it spends, up to the $79,216.

St. Francis-St. Hedwig School Foundation President Kenneth Healy said the school is planning a variety of security upgrades, including the installation of security windows, exterior doors, and a video surveillance system.

One of the upgrades, the installation of new locking door handles, has already been completed, Salatto said.

“These are so teachers can lock doors from inside without having to go out in hall in case of a lockdown situation,” Salatto said.

Under the guidelines of the grant, all of the upgrades the school is planning have to be installed and paid for by June 30, Salatto said.

In order to do everything they want, school officials are raising money to offset the school’s cost for the grant. As of Tuesday, Healy said, the school had raised $10,000.

“We are stepping up our efforts,” Healy said. “We are excited about the strong showing of support from the mailing. Word has been spreading pretty quickly on social media.”

Anyone who wants to donate can make a check out to St. Francis-St. Hedwig School and mail it to P.O. Box 292, Naugatuck, CT 06770.