Safety and security are two of the hallmarks presented by the Missoula County School District One when asking voters to approve the $158 million combined bond issue in 2014.

Director of Communications and Technology, Hatton Littman, said on Thursday, the Missoula County Board of Trustees began the process by approving negotiations with Photo Scan Northwest of Missoula.

"The bond is funding designs as well as installation of card-key access systems, security camera systems, and eventually, updated bell and pager systems," Littman said. "On Tuesday, the board approved contract negotiations with Photo Scan Northwest, Incorporated. I don't have the exact amount involved, but I know it is substantial because we're talking about installing these systems in over 21 locations. At this point, we're just talking about approving the contract negotiations for one element of those security systems, which is  the card-key access and the security cameras."

Littman said both the newly constructed schools and the remodeled facilities will still allow visitors to enter the school buildings without accessing the security systems.

"Our intention when  we redesigned the front entry of all of our buildings was to make that front area more safe and secure, so most of our projects are being designed so that the front entry door will be unlocked," she said. "People will be able to come in and be greeted by the school secretary, and then there's a second set of doors behind which student activity happens, and they would have to be buzzed in to enter that perimeter."

Work continues on Franklin and Lowell Schools, as we as remodeling on several other facilities.