Making the middle school safer

Deb Henton
Deb Henton

At North Branch Area Middle School, we are in the process right now of moving the main entrance. The project will not be complete by the start of school, but we hope it will be ready by late October.

Why are we moving this entrance?

If you have ever entered the middle school through its current main entrance, you know it does not enter into an office. In fact, it enters into a long, often empty hallway, with multiple opportunities for an intruder to duck away before reaching the middle school office. It is an unacceptable gap in security.

The new entrance will require all visitors to go directly through the main office once the doors are locked and school is in session.  The former main entrance will continue to be used, but only until school is in session at which time it will be locked like all the other exterior doors.

The new entrance is a pre-assembled structure with a heated vestibule, and will share common walls with the current building to the west of the main entrance. The door into the office from the vestibule will be locked once school is in session. The other two sides will be tempered glass.  Guests will need to be buzzed in. Staff will be able to view guests and once allowed in, all guests will immediately enter the office for check-in.

We anticipate the entrance to cost roughly $30,000, $10,000 less than budgeted.

We are eager to complete this project we believe will improve the management of visitors gaining access to the building. The security of our students, staff and visitors is our number one priority.

Stay tuned next week for more on how we are working to create the safest environment possible for all those that use our facilities.


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