New and Upgraded Radio System coming to Gresham-Barlow Schools, Buses

This summer, a new, state-of-the-art base radio station will be installed at every school and district level building throughout the Gresham-Barlow School District. The district is also investing in an additional 400 new two-way hand-held radios, and radios on every Gresham-Barlow School District bus.

The ability to communicate reliably and effectively during an emergency is of vital importance for school staff working to keep students safe. Gresham-Barlow is investing in numerous safety and security improvements that will protect our students in case of any incident.

These radios are part of a significant package of safety and security investments funded by the Gresham-Barlow School Bond. Approved by voters in November 2016, the Gresham-Barlow School Bond will invest $292 million by building two new elementary schools, substantially modernizing and renovating Barlow and Gresham High Schools, and bringing safety and security improvements to every school in the district.

The existing radios used by the district have limited reception, explained Terry Taylor, Gresham-Barlow School District’s director of facilities. “As a point of reference, we would normally have had to go to a school or site and borrow a radio from someone onsite to then use to support the event that was occurring.” With the new radios, Taylor said, “We will be able to connect from our offices.”

Taylor also noted that the radios on school buses will allow the district to contact buses while students are away from campuses for field trips and events.

Dan Spahr, who heads up the district’s transportation system, is also looking forward to the new radios. “The current system has numerous dead spots that [our drivers] struggle with. This new system should solve that problem, and will enable the district and the buses to be in communication with each other, especially in the case of an emergency.”

All 120 Gresham-Barlow School District buses will be equipped with these new radios. Installation is expected to be complete in July, in time for the start of the 2018-19 school year.