North Hills considers renovations, upgrades for district security

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The North Hills school board is considering a proposal to address safety and security within the district after a presentation by Assistant Superintendent Johannah Vanatta at Monday night's work session.

Citing the need to ensure the safety of faculty and students and to provide an up-to-date security system to help law enforcement and administrators, the board is expected to vote by the end of the school year on a three-phase plan intended to be implemented over the next three to five years.

The costliest part of the project would be the installation of captured vestibules for both West View Elementary and the junior high school, where two sets of doors essentially form a trap at the entryway, requiring visitors and late students to check in with the administrative office before entering the school. The estimate for installing the captured vestibules is $89,750 for West View Elementary and $75,000 for the junior high, costs that include required construction for roofing and foundation alterations.

Additional proposed security improvements to West View Elementary include electronic monitoring of the exterior doors, installation of panic alarms and three personal card readers at an estimated cost of $14,602. The district may also add six exterior cameras, eight interior cameras, and a monitoring system, which carry an estimated cost of $20,000.

Proposed changes at the junior and senior high school include electronic monitoring of exterior doors, installation of panic alarms and five personal card readers for an estimated cost of $18,600. Existing analog security cameras would be replaced with digital cameras.

Thomas & Williamson Program Management provided the district with the estimated costs. If the board votes to adopt these security renovations, the project will subsequently be offered for bid by the district.

Correction, posted March 6, 2013: The school board is expected to vote by the end of the school year on a three-phase security plan intended to be implemented over the next three to five years. The date of the vote had been reported incorrectly.

education - neigh_north

Chris Checchio, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com


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