SPANISH SPRINGS, Nev. (AP) — A father in Spanish Forks is donating security systems to elementary schools at the Washoe County School District.
James Andrews has paid for three temporary single-point entry systems, which include security cameras, remote locks and an intercom, and has ordered parts to donate three more, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported .
The goal is to create an airlock-like checkpoint to control who comes into the school, Andrews said.
“By no means is it a cure-all, but it’s some sort of deterrent,” Andrews said. “It gives them something.”
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Andrews has a child at Spanish Springs Elementary, where he installed a security entrance, along with children at Alice Taylor and Bud Beasley elementaries.
The district is working to build permanent single-point entrances.
Andrews owns Jensen Electric, a commercial and industrial electrical contractor that serves northern Nevada. He estimated it would cost about $4,000 to $5,000 in equipment and labor if parents or community members wanted to fundraise or donate to provide a temporary single-point entrance to an unprotected school.
When schools with temporary entrance checkpoints get their full-fledged single-point entrance sometime in the next 21 months, the temporary checkpoint will be torn out to make way for a more secure entrance.
Gabica said the installations are essentially adding a “building to a building.”
Even after the schools have passed through the extensive permitting and planning process, which Gabica said can take months, the construction is extensive enough that it’s difficult to do the work while school is in session.
Gabica said the biggest obstacle is that the construction would likely block the entire front entrance of a school, which also serves as the primary exit in the event of an emergency. But Gabica said the district is working with fire marshals to find a way to work around that problem, too.
Gabica said that since last month’s school shooting in Florida, four more schools have approached the district about adopting the entry checkpoint used at Spanish Springs.
Spanish Springs Elementary Principal Jim Verdi said the secured entryway has made his 700 students, parents and staff feel safer coming to school every day.
Front office staff monitor a system of six security cameras aimed at the front door, hallways and a side door. They use the intercom and cameras to ask visitors why they’re there and what student they’re visiting.
Staff can then unlock a second set of doors via a remote door buzzer, letting the visitor into the school. It also allows them the chance to screen people — preventing those that they’re unsure of from entering.
Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal, http://www.rgj.com