The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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The Benton-Carroll-Salem school board is considering two options for upgrading the entrance to the high school building to improve security.

 A decision will be made early next year, Guy Parmigian, superintendent, said.

 “We understand that security of students involves more than locked doors and cameras. We are sensitive and responsive to the social and emotional needs of all of our students and take all threats and bullying issues very seriously,” he said.

 At present, there is a camera and buzzer/speaker system at the school’s main entrance, enabling communication between visitors and personnel in the main office.  One option under consideration by the school board and administration is to have an addition to the entrance constructed. The addition would include a vestibule and offices for the school principal, assistant principal, office personnel and a conference room.

 The other option entails remodeling the current Media Center area and converting it into the main office that visitors would enter during the school day. The current office would be converted into a new Media Center.

 Parmigian said the primary goal of either option is to have visitors first come to the office where personnel can determine whether or not they have a legitimate reason for being in the school before gaining access to students and staff.

 Currently, after being buzzed in, visitors walk about 200 feet across the school cafeteria to sign in at the office.

 Parmigian said the district has completed several security upgrades during the past five years, funding some of them with state grants. Additional security cameras have been installed, allowing office personnel to monitor entrances, entrances using keys have been retro-fitted with electronic identification systems and an electronic gate has been installed at the bus garage.

 “The bottom line is that creating a more secure entrance at the high school is a logical and reasonable next step in our work to keep our students, staff and community safe,” he said.

 Either option for the entrance will be paid with permanent improvement funds, Parmigian said, adding the high school entrance is being considered first because the building will likely be in use for decades.

 Voters will decide next year if they want to finance a new K-7 building with a bond issue.   After discussing the matter during its Nov. 22 meeting, the board decided it will place a bond issue on the May 2017 ballot.  If approved, a new K-7 building would be constructed on land the district owns west of the high school on State Route 163. It would replace the current Oak Harbor Middle School, which houses grades four through seven, and the R.C. Waters Elementary School, which houses kindergarten through third grades.

The buildings were constructed in 1911 and 1956 respectively.  A bond issue on the ballot last August was rejected.

 

 

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