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Connellsville looking at adding security measures at schools

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By Rachel Basinger
Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, 10:44 p.m.

With the shooting tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary still on everyone's mind, Connellsville School District directors and administrators are making sure the district security is where it should be.

Director Dan Martucci, who is the head of the safety and security committee, said concerns have been brought to the board about security in the schools.

“We feel the school is doing a fine job as far as security, but you can never have enough security for our kids,” Martucci said.

District police officer and head of security, Mike Parlak, said since the Columbine incident more than a decade ago, school safety has been at the forefront.

“This district has implemented several measures since then, but there's always room for improvement,” he said, adding that with those improvements comes a lot of responsibility.

Martucci said the district is looking into ideas to add additional security at the elementary schools.

“We are thinking maybe having an officer assigned to two different schools that he would rotate between at any time of the day,” he said. “This way no one will know when the officer is there or not.”

District is studying placing armed guards at both the junior and senior high schools.

Parlak said to do this, the district would have to look into certifications, insurances and various requirements.

The district has already started work to add a camera and a locked door and buzzer system at the administration offices. It's the same system currently used at the elementary schools throughout the district.

In other news, the board said renovations at the high school auditorium are moving along well. The board said the auditorium is in high demand now as the district prepares for the annual high school musical.

John Pappas with Eckles Construction Services Inc, said Wednesday the stage flooring should be done by the end of the week and work on the curtains and rigging is complete, although the curtains still need hung.

Seating is done in the Mezzanine and most of the seating on the main level has been installed.

In the commons space, the ceiling is going in now and workers will start polishing the terrazzo on Monday.

“A couple more weeks and the work there should be all wrapped up,” Pappas said.

Pappas said it is hoped all the work on the entrance area will be done before the musical is staged in March.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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