Kyrene schools to remodel lobbies as part of enhanced security plan

By Diana Whittle

At the start of classes next fall, students and
their families will find measures in place
designed to help improve the safety and
security of campuses at seven Kyrene schools: newly
remodeled entry lobbies.
The upgrades will be completed in a phased-in
approach, with work beginning this summer and
being completed by the end of July 2015. Lobbies will
be closed during the construction.
First on the list of updates:
Kyrene de Akimel, Kyrene de las Lomas, Kyrene
de los Niños, Kyrene del Norte, Kyrene de la Mirada,
Kyrene de las Manitas and Kyrene de las Brisas.
Plans were unveiled to the Kyrene Governing
Board by Eric Nethercutt, director of transportation
and facilities, and by Mark Share, the district’s
director of technology.
When averaged over all the schools, the cost of
each lobby’s remodeling is estimated to be $104,000,
which will be funded through capital funds.
In a computer-aided illustration displayed by
Nethercutt, all updated schools will have a separate
visitors’ entrance that includes a secure door to allow
access to the rest of the school.
“Only visitors who are buzzed through the door
will be allowed beyond the lobby,” said Nethercutt.
“And, visitors will be separated from staff by
a large countertop of about 20 feet and a wall with
five panels of glass. There will be an opening at the
bottom and one at the top of the glass to allow for the
passage of packages, deliveries or backpacks.”
Behind the lobby wall will be a staff area with
three workstations and easy access to serve visitors
who come into the lobby, says Nethercutt.
Modular furniture will be installed to fit the
workspace.
Within the lobby, computer kiosks will be
available for self-service, and the area will be
equipped with a large-screen monitor and security
camera. The design of each lobby will be compliant
with and accessible under rules of the Americans
with Disabilities Act.
Students will enter through a separate lobby
door that will allow them direct access to the
principal and secretary, and the health office. A
counter will be installed to be student-, rather than
adult-, height.
An architectural firm developed the plans
based on input from the Kyrene district’s Safety and
Security Team.
Staff visited schools in other districts in the
Valley in an effort to create district-wide standards
that will be followed at all Kyrene schools.
“We are creating an integrated security system
across the entire district,” said technology director
Share. “Some of the steps are
already in place, such as security
camera, ID badges, a badge
system for visitors and a closed
campus during school hours. “
Share chaired the Safety
and Security Team over the last
several years and said the changes
are being made to improve safety,
not to create an intimidating
environment.
“We have chosen five color
palettes for the counters and
walls, which can be selected
by the administration of each
school,” said Share.
“We want the school lobbies
to still remain welcoming.”
Share says his team is
continuing to introduce the lobby
redesigns to groups throughout
the district and is working on a
communications plan to inform
all parents and the public.
Board president Ross Robb
reacted positively to the plan
and said, “The changes will be
an asset to the district and are
a necessary addition.”

Leave a Comment