Safety upgrades planned for Stormonth, Bayside

Visitors will be buzzed in at both Fox Point-Bayside schools

Feb. 19, 2013

Fox Point - With the recent tragedy in Newtown, Conn., still fresh in everyone's minds, officials in the Fox Point-Bayside district are moving forward with plans to ramp up building security at two of the three district-owned facilities.

Last month, the School Board voted in favor of allocating funds toward safety upgrades at Stormonth Elementary and Bayside Middle schools.

At the board's most recent meeting Monday, Director of Business Services Amy Kohl discussed some of the changes that are being implemented in short order as security takes center stage as a district priority.

While there has always been some type of security mechanism at both schools, the process is being enhanced. Main entrances at both buildings will be locked and require a staff person to buzz in visitors.

The district also is purchasing video communication systems that will give office staff the opportunity to see who is outside requesting entry.

Visitors at Bayside already have to be buzzed in to gain entrance to the main portion of the school. But a second entrance point requiring a maneuver by a staff person is being added.

School Board President Mike Weiss said a staff person should be at both locations at all times during the school day at Bayside so visitors are not left in limbo.

"Otherwise, this would prove to not be very popular," Weiss said.

In recent weeks, Kohl said a thorough inspection of all exterior doors has been done to ensure the school buildings are secure throughout. In three instances, Kohl said there were deficiencies that will be addressed in the future.

"This will be one of our priorities for next year," she said, referring to allocating funds in the buildings and grounds budget for the 2013-14 school year.

For the time being, the district's focus has primarily been focused at Stormonth and Bayside since both facilities house students. The district's third facility - the Dunwood Center - is also under review, though no significant changes have taken place to date.

With multiple entrances and organizations renting from the building, a former school, Kohl said more logistical planning will be necessary to determine how security can be enhanced.

"For now, we've taken Dunwood out of the mix," she said.

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