ShareThis Page
Westmoreland

Greensburg Salem considers $2.5 million security upgrade

Jacob Tierney
| Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 4:48 p.m.
Exterior shot of Greensburg Salem High School taken on Jan. 13, 2016, in Greensburg.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Exterior shot of Greensburg Salem High School taken on Jan. 13, 2016, in Greensburg.

Greensburg Salem School District officials now have a price tag for the “mousetrap entrances” they want to install in order to improve school safety — $2.5 million.

That's a rough estimate that would cover the cost of entrances at all five school buildings, according to a report by New Kensington architecture firm Canzian/Johnston & Associates.

Now the question is how to pay for it.

“We really didn't get into that conversation yet,” school board President Ron Mellinger said.

The district expects to have about $91,000 in its capital fund at the end of the year. That money is used to pay for major building improvements.

The first draft of the district's 2018-19 budget does not include money for capital projects.

If the new entrances are built, the money will probably come by issuing a bond or finding an outside source, according to Superintendent Eileen Amato.

“It would not be able to come out of the budget. It would need special funding,” she said.

“Mousetrap” entrances are set up so anyone coming into the school must first pass through a secure vestibule, which is separated from the rest of the school by a second set of doors.

No Greensburg Salem school now has this type of entrance, according to Amato.

District officials have been discussing secure entrances since 2012, after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Officials decided to make the project a priority after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla., in February that left 17 dead.

The week after the Parkland shooting, a man broke into Greensburg Salem Middle School, wandering the halls for about 20 minutes and leaving before students arrived.

The suspect, Ian Frederick Sagucio, died of an unknown medical emergency later that day while he fought with Greensburg police as they attempted to arrest him at his home.

Several district parents have attended school board committee meetings offering to help raise money for school safety initiatives, according to Amato.

These fundraisers have yet to materialize, but the parents were encouraged to work with the Greensburg Salem Education Foundation, which organizes charitable giving initiatives for the district, Amato said.

Money raised through the foundation can't go to facilities improvements such as mousetrap entrances but could be used to pay for equipment, training and personnel, Amato said.

Board members will continue to discuss mousetrap entrances over the next month or so before making a decision, Mellinger said.

Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6646, jtierney@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Soolseem.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me