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Barricade Bucket Safety Project Completed

Middie Rising
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Barricade Bucket Safety Project Completed

Oct 19, 2023
MCSD maintenance employee smiles for picture with truck full of Barricade Buckets behind him.

Middletown City School District (MCSD), Middletown Division of Police, Atrium Medical Center Foundation, and Atrium Medical Center’s Level III Emergency Trauma Center are proud to announce its Barricade Bucket safety project has been fully funded.

Through monetary and in-kind donations, nearly $41,000 was raised, placing a Barricade Bucket in all 465 classrooms and shared spaces across MCSD, and a collapsible ladder in all 116 second-floor classrooms.

“When Middletown Police Officer Jason Deaton brought this project to the attention of Police Chief David Birk in the fall of 2022, Atrium Medical Center had hoped to outfit the middle school and high school classrooms. That initial undertaking felt daunting, but several partners came forward to support our efforts,” said Mandi Arnett, director of nursing at Atrium Medical Center.

Matthew 25: Ministries donated supplies, including toilet paper, hydrogen peroxide, feminine pads, and disposable gloves. Contributions from Atrium Medical Center employees, Atrium Medical Center Foundation donors, First Presbyterian Church in Middletown, and Lowe’s also jumpstarted the project.

Dozens of residents and businesses also made the funding of the project's first phase possible. The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #2, with support from the Middletown Moose, funded all buckets for Amanda Elementary.

A bucket-building day brought school resource officers, members of the Kiwanis Club of Middletown, Atrium Medical Center nurses and leaders, and Atrium Medical Center Foundation staff together.

“Seeing these buckets delivered inspired the next phase of the project – to provide Barricade Buckets in all elementary schools,” Arnett said. “Our community immediately stepped up.”

Funding to create Barricade Buckets for the remaining six elementary schools in the district was provided by: the Duke Energy Foundation, which funded all buckets at Mayfield Elementary; the Kiwanis Club of Middletown, which raised $8,500 toward the effort through personal donations and grants from the Middletown Community Foundation and the Ohio District Kiwanis Children's Fund; and the Middletown Rotary Club, which donated $1,000 toward the effort.

As the team crossed the finish line of the project’s second phase, a phone call from Light Up Middletown prompted the question – how can we help? This question came just hours after receiving a request from educators in second-floor classrooms for collapsible ladders. Without hesitation, Light Up Middletown committed to funding collapsible ladders for all second-floor classrooms.

“We are so proud to be part of a community that works together to see great things achieved,” Arnett said. “This project wouldn’t have been possible without support from the people who live and work in Middletown, the businesses, the churches, and the service clubs that join in our mission at Premier Health to improve the health of the communities we serve.”

"The safety and well-being of our students, staff, and entire school community will always be our top priority. The Barricade Buckets are a vital addition to our school safety program, and offer an extra layer of security in case of any emergency situation," said Deborah Houser, MCSD Superintendent.

"We would also like to extend our gratitude to the Middletown community. Without their generosity and collaboration, this project wouldn’t have been possible," Houser said.

As we look forward, there are some perishable items in the buckets that will need replenishing. If you are inspired to support this ongoing effort, donations can be made online at or mailed to Atrium Medical Center Foundation – One Medical Center Drive, Middletown, OH 45005.

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