ST. ALBANS, WV (WOWK) – This year, Kanawha County voters will decide whether to extend the school district’s excess school levy.

School leaders say one of the main things that levy will fund is additional improvements to security.

“Now more than ever, especially post pandemic, our students are resilient and they know how to persevere,” said St. Albans High School Principal Dr. Jaclyn Swayne. “I do know they know how to adjust to change when change is necessary.”

In recent years, students have likely noticed many changes when it comes to school security. At St. Albans High School, they’ve added a secure entrance everyone has to pass through.

“It is a way to channel all traffic through that one area,” Swayne explained.

The last levy paid for things countywide like locks, access control software upgrades and better surveillance systems.

Technology was at the forefront last week at a school safety event in Charleston, WV. One of the tools on display looks specifically for weapons.

“It is actually very simple,” explained Chris Janey with NewTech Systems. “The monitoring station, someone can just watch and it actually applies a box to where the gun is detected. Then you have a reconciliation station, you basically pull the person off to the side go through the stuff and intercept what you think is a positive hit.”

Weapons detection systems are one of the proposed safety and security additions that would be funded through the levy on the ballot this year.

Swayne said there are other safety improvements planned.

“The way that we can be proactive is the increased cameras, the increased staffing and security, weapons detection technology and entrances that are safer and more sound,” Swayne said.

The weapons detection technology would be used at all high schools. The new security vestibules, or secure entrances, would be installed at 57 schools.

According to the school district, the excess levy has been reapproved by voters every five years since 1937.

If the levy is reapproved this year, homeowners won’t see their tax bills go up. But if the levy fails, the owner of a $100,000 home would see their taxes go down about $230.