Rachael Van Horn
Woodward, Okla. —
One doesn't have to look back more than two days to understand the obvious and clear danger that one deranged individual could pose, if he or she took it into their head to wander into just one school, said Woodward Superintendent Tim Merchant.
The possibility of that threat has emphasized the need for a more secure system that allows Woodward school children the most freedom, while limiting the access to outside threats,Merchant said.
For that reason, security was second on the list of the top five priorities with the Long Range Planning Committee, when discussing the proposed bond issue, Merchant said.
The primary threat-an intruder who makes his or her way onto the campus and into the general school population-would be mitigated by a three pronged approach, said Woodward Deputy Superintendent, Kyle Reynolds.
The three pronged approach includes, fencing at the middle school, security cameras at each point of exit or entrance at all schools and providing only one, secure-double door, buzz entry system at all schools.
The thing is there is no100 percent guarantee that we can stop this from happening," Reynolds said. "Our best effort is to have to have safeguards and procedures that will deter that thing from happening or if it does, give us time to save lives.
Reynolds said the double door, buzz entry system was newly installed in a school in Georgia last month and was credited with helping a school employee talk the would-be shooter down and into surrendering his weapon, Reynolds said.
"The Early Childhood Center already has the buzz entry system on the front door," Reynolds said. "But it needs the second set of doors."
Kris Richardson is the project manager with Joe D. Hall Construction, the construction manager for the Woodward project. Should the bond issue pass, Joe D. Hall, LLC will oversee the installation of the entire new security system for the district Richardson said.
""The security access into all those school will have a security vestibule, so you will walk into the building and be trapped in the vestibule and the admin office will be able to see who you are and then they can come on the speaker and ask how they can help you," Richardson said. "You will not be able to just walk around on the these schools and that is a big deal."
Richardson said now is the best time to be addressing these issues because cost is lower as a result of the numerous schools, such as Shattuck who are implementing the same systems.
"There is a good competition out there and that drives down the cost," Richardson said. "It is cost effective and economical to do this now."
If the bond issue passes October 8, it will provide these security measures:
1. A fence around the entire middle school campus.
2. Security cameras on all external doors on all school campuses in the district.
3. A secure main entrance that includes security cameras, speakers, double door, buzz entry system with automatic locking mechanisms for all schools in the district.
4. Procedural plans that will create one standard operating procedure for the entire school district with regard to how and when someone is allowed into the campus as well as how to handle an emergency.
For more information go to www.woodwardschoolbond2013.com