Freeport Area School Board discusses security | TribLIVE
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Freeport Area School Board discusses security

| Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014, 7:32 a.m.

Freeport Area School Board members on Wednesday discussed preliminary options for reconfiguring the main entrance to the senior high school to make it more secure.

The options ranged from adding a set of locked doors just beyond the auditorium and the school office to putting an addition on the front of the school to construct a secure visitor entrance with a security desk and create more space for administrative staff.

The secure lobby proposed in the first option would also be used as a student and staff entrance. The second option would have three entrances for students, staff and visitors.

Currently, office staff buzz in a visitor, but once that person enters the building he or she has complete access. The office is down a hall to the right.

The district's other schools have another layer of security that requires visitors to go directly to the office and limits their access to the building.

The reconfiguration concepts presented by VEBH Architects of Mt. Lebanon are just a starting point for board members. They are a product of a meeting among the architectural firm, the district's security director, the high school principal and a school board representative.

“I do think the board agreed on the need for more security, maybe not to this degree, and I think we all need to get in a room and have a safety and security workshop,” said Superintendent Chris DeVivo. “This is a starting point. There are things that I'm seeing for the first time, too.”

None of the options included cost estimates.

Several board members said they don't want to go too far with the reconfiguration.

“I think we all agreed that we need to do something to make our front entrance more secure, but I don't know that we all thought that we were going to be redesigning the office,” Barbara Toy-Gaydos said.

Other options for the new entrance include metal detectors, improved video surveillance and a reduction in the quantity of glass.

The school board hopes to schedule a safety and security workshop this month.

Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or jweigand@tribweb.com.

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