North Carolina District Hardens Entrance Security

North Carolina District Hardens Entrance Security

Jones Elementary School now has a locked entryway that serves as a secure room for visitors to campus looking to be buzzed into the school. The entryway is locked off from the school itself.

Asheville City Schools in Asheville, N.C., has hardened security at its campus entrances to protect students.

Jones Elementary School now has a locked entryway that serves as a secure room for visitors to campus looking to be buzzed into the school. The entryway is locked off from the school itself.

“This was one of the changes -- to encase or enclose the front part of Jones,” Asheville City Schools Assistant Superintendent Dr. Terrance McAllister said.

In the last year, the district has added an enclosed hallway connected to the storefront enclosure, improving student safety for those walking into an adjacent building.

The district has also added cameras and buzzers at the school’s front doors.

“The first thing they would need to do would be to push the button. It’s a little bell,” McAllister said. “You have to stand in front of the camera, because there’s a camera attached to the buzzer system.”

The area’s largest district, Buncombe County Schools, added locked doors with buzzers to all of its middle school campuses. All 10 high schools will be outfitted with security buzzers and locking front doors by the end of March, WLOS reports.

According to Technology Services Director Barry Pace, county commissioners have approved $1.5 million to improve officer radio transmissions in Asheville schools.

“We want to make sure that if a law enforcement officer in our schools needs to reach out for backup, that they can do so from any place inside of our schools," Pace said. "Any location in our school hallway that might only have 90 percent coverage now, we’re going to add antennas to make sure that hallway has 100 percent coverage.”

Following the Parkland shooting last Feb. 14, which left 17 dead, Bumcombe County Schools administrators decided to bring in a national security consultant who could assemble a plan for enhancing security at every district school. Funding from the county has now been approved for the consultant, who will be named next week.

According to Pace, the assessment will cost between $5,000 to $7,000 per campus, an estimated $300,000 to $400,000 for the total contract. Pace said the district usually spends about $500,000 yearly on security enhancements.

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.

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