Madison County Eagle: Spanberger secures funds for school safety equipment


Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger was in Madison last week to celebrate grant funding for emergency equipment.

Spanberger was able to secure $450,000 in federal funds for the Madison County Sheriff’s Office to purchase equipment that will improve emergency radio coverage in Madison County’s four schools. The funds will be used to purchase a bi-directional amplifier system that will be installed in the schools and allow for communication between first responders and the dispatch center to keep themselves and students and faculty safe during an emergency situation.

Currently, there is little to no radio coverage within the schools. The new equipment will provide wall-to-wall coverage.

Spanberger said the need for the equipment was brought to her by sheriff Erik Weaver. He told her that being able to communicate with school administrators and teachers in the event of an emergency was a priority. Weaver thanked Spanberger for her assistance in securing the funding.

“I was told once you take on a project, you take it to heart,” he said. “I thank you for taking small communities like Madison to heart.”

Madison County Public Schools Superintendent Anna Graham said the new equipment means a lot to the school system. County administrator Jonathon Weakley agreed.

“Madison County is extremely grateful to be receiving an award of $450,000 through congressional appropriations,” he said. “This funding will significantly enhance public safety within our school system and offer added support for our first responders while operating in the schools. Public safety continues to be one of our biggest priorities and this award enhances our ability to provide for the safety of our school aged children and first responders alike. We would like to thank U.S Representative Spanberger for her dedication to the enhancement of public safety for Madison County.”

Spanberger said as a parent, she understands the fears of parents when sending their children to school.

“It’s important to make sure there is always communication between first responders and the schools,” she said. “First responders need to be able to communicate very clearly with no dead [coverage] spots.”

The grant received by Madison County is just one of 14 projects in the 7th District that were awarded federal funding totaling more than $12.2 million. Among the projects was also $500,000 to make improvements to the auditorium at the Carver Center, previously known as the George Washington Carver Regional High School. The improvements will allow for the main school building to be fully utilized to host educational and community events.

“On behalf of the Culpeper County Board of Supervisors I would like to thank Congresswoman Spanberger for her work to obtain funding for needed community projects across her district,” Culpeper County Board of Supervisors Chairman Paul Bates said. “The Carver Center is important not only to Culpeper County, but the region. The renovation of the auditorium will create an exciting amenity that our residents can utilize and enjoy.”

Spanberger said she’s committed to being a strong partner at the federal level for communities in the district. She said one of her priorities is to bring federal funding back to the counties she represents.

“I am dedicated to delivering tangible results for the Virginians I serve,” Spanberger said. “These projects — which tackle everything from physical infrastructure to public safety — are smart investments in Virginia’s future. I’m proud to have secured this funding with the help of local leaders who worked directly with my office to advocate for the inclusion of these projects in this package. I’m eager to see the positive impact these much-needed investments will have on Virginia families and businesses.”

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