Architects Design Schools with Security in Mind

Architects Design Schools with Security in Mind

Joplin High School was completed in 2014. When designing the campus, Greer said the firm “placed glass in very key locations that allowed for good sight lines so that anybody that was approaching the facility felt like they were being watched and gave an opportunity for them to actually be watched."

School safety and security are beginning to include a “psychological approach,” said Chad Greer, principal architect for Corner Greer and Associates, an architecture and design firm. Corner Greer and Associates have designed multiple school buildings, including a new high school in Joplin, MO.

The psychological approach, Greer said, includes “anything from making sure the landscape doesn’t obscure sight lines. It means that hidden areas have good lighting and maybe an adaptive use for those areas to create a more physical presence of people that dissuades people from nefarious activities.”

Joplin High School was completed in 2014. When designing the campus, Greer said the firm “placed glass in very key locations that allowed for good sight lines so that anybody that was approaching the facility felt like they were being watched and gave an opportunity for them to actually be watched."

Joplin High features a lot of glass, including full-length windows in long, external hallways.

According to Greer, the firm’s approach combines psychological factors with traditional security to create a more “holistic approach” to campus security and safety.

When it comes to schools that were designed before thinking about security and safety began to change, Greer said architects and designers can still work to increase security and minimize risk.

"One of the things that we recommend is that these school districts’ first step is doing a facility assessment," Greer said. "And that goes all the way from the outside of the building, from exterior lighting, making sure there’s an appropriate level of lighting, a review of landscaping, making sure there’s adequate sight lines, all the way up to the front door, and how someone understands where they’re supposed to go and then once they get into the building. There’s a whole multitude of things we would run through."

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.

Digital Edition

  • Campus Security & Life Safety Magazine - May June 2019

    May/June 2019

    Featuring:

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    • A Proactive Approach to Campus Security
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