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South Hills

West Jefferson Hills could test metal detector at Thomas Jefferson HS

| Thursday, March 22, 2018, 7:42 p.m.
Thomas Jefferson High School in the West Jefferson Hills School District.
Thomas Jefferson High School in the West Jefferson Hills School District.

West Jefferson Hills School District leaders say they plan to test a walk-through metal detector at Thomas Jefferson High School to collect data for how a metal detection system could work when the new high school opens in mid 2018-19.

Board members are expected to vote on March 27 on a motion to approve a pilot program with Garrett Walk Through Metal Detector at a purchasing rate of $3,774.

The board also could vote on purchasing one metal detection wand at a cost of $129.

Board members on March 20 heard about the system, which Ryan Snodgrass, director of facilities, said is “TSA quality.”

“At the new high school, there's seven entrances, so the idea at the new high school is that every student will go through them,” Superintendent Michael Ghilani said.

The system would be able to be tailored so alarms wouldn't sound for a pen or change in a pocket, but would go off for something larger, Snodgrass said.

“We need to really investigate the sensitivity level,” Ghilani said.

Prior to use of the system, a letter would be sent home to parents, Ghilani said.

Because only one walk-through metal detector will be tested during the pilot program, district leaders said, testing likely would occur utilizing students from one or two buses in a day to see how it works for time and sensitivity.

Board members also could vote March 27 to accept a proposal from The A.G. Mauro Company for hardware, doors and specialties for the vestibules to be added at both Jefferson Elementary School and Pleasant Hills Middle School at a total cost of $34,875.

Stephanie Hacke is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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