VIGO CO, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Family members and Vigo County School Corporation officials say they share similar concerns, security at school facilities.

Contributing factors to this issue include acts of vandalism at Woodrow Wilson Middle School and the property being used for a viral TikTok challenge, the ‘milk crate challenge.’ Also, in August of this year, a 22-year-old man was shot and killed near Davis Park Elementary School.

More information on that case can be found on the link below.

Additionally, Kurt Brinegar, Coordinator of Safety and Security with VCSC, said the unlit properties could attract larger groups to gather and problems could develop.

‘We try to keep an eye on that. The Terre Haute Police Department and Vigo County Sheriff’s Office has kept up extra patrols at those facilities to help us after hours. But, their resources are limited,” Brinegar said.

Solutions are being looked into, those include fence gate locking systems, cameras and light poles. The lock systems would secure the property on the outside and allow anyone on the inside to exit in case of an emergency.

If a plan is approved, the Corporation would begin at the elementary facilities before working its way to other schools.

“We just let people play at the facilities and we want that to happen with families. We don’t have a problem with that. It’s the destruction to our property after hours that can happen that we worry about, ” He added.

No trespassing or signs posting hours of use for the playgrounds could be installed, but each would vary by school. The board would have to approve the verbiage.

Right now, this plan is solely in the developing phase and no official decision has been made. Added safety precautions were being looked into before the ’22-’23 academic year, but the shooting in the area of 19th and Walnut served as a reminder of the importance of being prepared.

“After dark, our playgrounds aren’t lit and they can be a gathering spot for bad influences,” Brinegar stated.

Numerous safety improvements have been made in Vigo County, those include the additions of cameras, resource officers and Alice Training, which was completed on Wednesday at Dixie Bee Elementary School.

Gloria Bradley is a resident and has two grandchildren who are both enrolled in area schools, she said she favors playgrounds and schools to be watched at all times.

“I think our kid’s school property should be secured at all times. They should be secured too, we love them and love being around them,” She said.

Again, no final decision on this has been and security measures must be approved by VCSC.