MORTON — The Morton School District has hired a firm that will study security inside and outside district buildings and make short-term and long-term recommendations for improvement.

Facility Engineering Associates will be paid $17,900 for the work, which will begin in a few weeks.

Representatives from several firms were interviewed by Morton Superintendent Jeff Hill and School Board member Kevin Austin.

Hill and Austin recommended hiring FEA, and the board approved their recommendation last week.

"FEA offered the most robust study, and I like the fact that we'll have a road map for what needs to be done now and in the future in regards to security," Austin said.

Hill said he was impressed by FEA's nationwide experience working with schools including being hired by the Mattoon School District in 2017 after a student shot and injured a classmate in the cafeteria at Mattoon High School.

Paul Timm, FEA vice president, said the Morton School District will receive a prioritized list of needed security measures about two or three weeks after all the district's buildings are studied.

"It will take several hours to look at each building," Timm said.

In addition to the K-12 district's six schools, FEA will check out the district offices, Morton Academy residential school and bus shelter.

The FEA team that will work in Morton will include law enforcement and engineering specialists and possibly a manufacturing specialist, Timm said.

FEA's corporate office is in Fairfax, Va. The work in Morton will be done out of FEA's physical security services division in Naperville.

The division also does consulting work on loss prevention and developing an emergency plan.

Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or stevestein21@yahoo.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.