Security plans outlined for Baldwin-Whitehall school buildings
Visitors entering Baldwin High School are greeted by a staffer who ensures they are going to the right place.
That person allows parents, guardians and visitors to the school past the double set of locked doors. At the four other schools in the Baldwin-Whitehall School District, the entrances and security levels vary but changes could be coming.
“Once folks are basically buzzed into the building, there's no necessary guarantee that they come into the office,” Superintendent Randal Lutz said.
Facilities changes costing as much as $715,000 could help to improve security at the entryways of J.E. Harrison Middle School and the district's three elementary schools, based on preliminary plans presented to the school board last week by HHSDR Architects/Engineers Inc. representative Greer Hayden.
Board members agreed to allow plans to move forward for the security upgrades, as well as for several other facilities projects.
Security improvements have been a focus for the last 18 months, Lutz said, with visitor procedure and student dismissal procedures being altered.
“We do believe that we're ready for the next phase — that is some of the physical improvements of our facilities,” he said.
One of the concerns at the elementaries and middle schools is visitor access.
“The offices aren't in the best locations for today's security needs,” Hayden said.
At McAnnulty, Hayden recommended replacing the entrance doors and opening a new connecting doorway between the vestibule and office area to force visitors to stop in the office before heading into the hallways.
At W.R. Paynter, Hayden said the entrance would need to be replaced, with the addition of a vestibule area at the front.
“So we have, again, better control of that visitor,” Hayden said.
Changes would be made at Whitehall Elementary and J.E. Harrison Middle School.
Harrison is the most challenging, Hayden said, because the office is across the hall from the entrance. He recommended moving it to where a classroom is located.
Board member Patricia Nixon asked that bulletproof glass be looked at for the schools.
If these projects were to move forward, bids would be awarded in the spring with the bulk of construction done during the summer, Hayden said. He has yet to meet with school principals, so the plans could be adjusted.
Other projects proposed included adding air conditioning to the Baldwin High School gymnasium, at a cost of $250,000, with construction completed by May.
Storage could be added to the high school stadium area, with a one-story building added near the visitor bleacher section, at a proposed cost of $165,000.
Work to improve the deteriorating bleachers on the home side would cost about $78,000.
Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Undersized Beachum quietly excels at 1 of game’s pivotal positions
- Steelers notebook: Polamalu, Taylor unlikely to play, Harrison ‘ready’
- Michigan State defensive coordinator a Pitt coaching candidate
- Pirates sign Corey Hart to 1-year deal
- Pitt: Football coach hire comes 1st, athletic director 2nd
- Penguins’ defensive depth proves valuable
- Penguins notebook: Kunitz ‘really close’ to return
- Police gather in Ligonier for Perryopolis officer’s funeral
- Hotel building boom sweeps Pittsburgh region
- Pittsburgh adjusting to new bicycle lane, ‘stop boxes’
- Man involved with crash with officer dies in Pittsburgh hospital