In the New Year, students at Steinbach Regional Secondary School will see a new face patrolling the hallways.

Hanover School Division Superintendent Randy Dueck said the division recently received board approval to hire a security guard.

The school has a large population of students since the addition of a grade nine program two years ago. In that time, the number of students has grown from 1,300 to 1,700.

Dueck said the security guard is meant to provide added safety.

"This is a proactive move, not a reactive move," said Dueck. "We're not saying, 'because of some particular situation we need to keep our students safer’.”

"We have a population in that building right now of 2,000 people; 1,700 plus students and then staff over and above. So it's the size of a small village," he said.

The superintendent assured students are "safe and secure," and added the school wants to keep it that way.

He said the division will likely hire a security company out of Winnipeg to provide the guard.

While an advertisement for a security guard has not yet been posted, Dueck said the extra security is expected to cost around $10,000 this school year.

Guard shifts will take place between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., and also between 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Dueck said more than one person might be required to fill the shifts, but the hope is not to have too many different people involved.

One of the guard's main duties will be monitoring who's coming into the building.

The superintendent said it's a community space and a busy place during the day and at night with sports and other extra-curricular activities.

Dueck said the division would like to be involved in selecting which security guards get placed in the school, and that whoever is hired will have to be a good fit in a school environment.

The guard will be hired until the end of the school year, at which point the division will evaluate the program.

"This is a trial," said Dueck. "We're going to see if it works within the overall security arrangements we have in the school."

Dueck said the school already has security cameras and safety liaison personnel.

Students are also required to carry school identification cards.