Streetsboro -- Security at Streetsboro High School is expected to improve with the construction of a new double entrance that will provide a waiting area for visitors, who will no longer have immediate access to the school.
Superintendent Michael Daulbaugh said every building in the school district has a double entrance except the high school.
The Streetsboro Board of Education unanimously voted to accept a bid of $22,469 from the Lauren Building Co. for the high school improvements at its Oct. 10 meeting.
"Now, when someone comes to the high school, they stand in front of the camera and say, 'I'm here to pick up so-and-so,'" Daulbaugh said. "We say, OK, and we buzz them in, and they're in the school. What this new concept will be is, there will be a double locking system where the person will buzz in. They'll go to the window and say, 'I'm here to pick up so-and-so,' and then they'll sit and wait behind those closed doors. They will no longer have access to the building."
Director of Buildings and Grounds Randy Tevepaugh said according to the contract, the entrance must be completed by Dec. 18, but he believes it will be finished by the end of November, barring unforeseen complications.
Although the project was discussed by the School Board last spring, Tevepaugh said school officials needed to make sure it meets the district's security specifications "so it wouldn't be outdated a year or two from now, and so it can be used on a long-term basis."
He said the security cameras and access card readers -- "anything electronic" -- can be moved in the event that a new high school is built, although the windows and doors will remain in the current building.
Daulbaugh said the school district should be able to get some of the money back via a new grant system through state House Bill 59 that was launched in early October.
"Each district can apply for a certain level of reimbursement -- not the whole cost -- for security entrance upgrades," he said.
School officials said they are not certain yet how much money might be returned to the district.
Daulbaugh said some people have asked him why the district is willing to spend the money now with a bond issue for a new high school and other facilities upgrades on the ballot.
"We are concerned with the safety of our students now, and $22,000 was a minimal cost for the safety component that we're adding to the high school," he said.
School Board members agreed with the need for the project.
"To spend this money to secure the high school, which is in dire need of it, is absolutely worth it," said School Board member Kevin Grimm.
"For however long it's there, it's well worth it," School Board Vice President Andrew Lesak said.
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