School security: Front entrances tops board’s priorities
LINCOLNTON – Installing magnetic card-swipe locks and looking at the feasibility of creating vestibules are the next steps Lincoln County Board of Education is taking to make its schools more secure.
Board members discussed options at a special-called boarding meeting headed by the Building And Site Committee Jan. 31.
Request for proposals for magnetic card-swipe locks have been sent to potential vendors and are due back Feb. 8, Steve Zickefoose, assistant superintendent for business, told board members. Once the price comes back, board members can decide if it would be financially viable to install them on more than just the front entrances.
The system would be able to track who entered the building and when by requiring school personnel to access with a badge. Board members favor this system over a numeric-key pad lock since codes can be easily shared with unauthorized people.
In the meantime, the board asked Executive Director of Facilities Darrell Gettys to evaluate what it would take to create a vestibule at each school to funnel visitors into the office and act as a holding area if anyone suspicious tried to enter the building.
Board member Cathy Davis said she favored potential vestibules because it would force people to have to go through multiple doors to gain access to the interior of the school.
It would also buy the school time if there were an intruder, board member Bob Silver added.
Board members agreed that the challenge, however, is that layout of some schools are not conducive to adding a vestibule easily and could require quite a bit of construction. Keeping in line with fire codes was another potential problem discussed.
Besides fortifying schools, board members also talked about possibly adding security cameras, the need to work with law enforcement and the importance of developing a procedure for schools to follow if an incident were to occur.
The board’s regular monthly meeting is scheduled for Feb. 12.