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Plum/Oakmont

Plum School Board planning security upgrades

Michael DiVittorio
| Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, 4:51 p.m.
Plum High School
Michael DiVittorio
Plum High School

Plum School District officials moved toward purchasing metal detectors, additional security cameras and gates for the high school parking lot.

Board members agreed at a committee meeting Sept. 5 that there is a need for the security upgrades. The equipment is not in the 2017-18 budget, but the board said it would use budget transfers for the purchases.

Superintendent Tim Glasspool said the cost of possible improvements totals $93,000.

These include:

• $31,863 for more daytime security guards.

• $3,640 for exterior gates.

• $9,700 for an exterior security station.

• $16,590 for four metal detectors and 12 hand-held metal-detecting wands

• $31,248 for video equipment near bathrooms and exterior doors.

The board said it will vote Sept. 26 on the gates, and hold the other items for further discussion in October.

Glasspool said the parking lot gates should be the first purchase.

“It is best practice to have one entrance and one exit while school's in session,” Glasspool said. “We have enough gates (now) probably to do a couple different schools.”

Members also agreed the district needs better signage so visitors know where the main office, gymnasium and other facilities are located.

“When you go to other campuses you know where you're going,” said board member Michele Gallagher.

Another security plan is to have Mt. Lebanon-based VEBH Architects, which is developing a district-wide capital improvement and maintenance plan, redesign the high school's security foyer.

“I think it's most important to block unauthorized people from getting into our schools,” said Vicky Roessler, a board member who chairs the safe schools committee. “We want people to be checked at the door prior to coming inside the high school.”

Board member Rich Zucco suggested the board determine the best security options and implement those “step by step,” instead of getting numerous quotes for products it may not need.

Roessler said the board needs to hire a safety coordinator to determine its security needs.

“We need to do our jobs and provide the best education for our students, and employ an acknowledged professional to help coordinate safely,” she said.

The board created a safety coordinator position in February 2016, but a board majority decided last month to leave it vacant.

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-871-2367, mdivittorio@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MikeJdiVittorio.

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