Security to increase at Lincoln schools this fall

Security to increase at Lincoln schools this fall

LINCOLN - More secure school entry vestibules should be in place by the first day of school, Supt. Georgia Fortunato said this week.

Each school building will face a renovation to install two sets of locked doors at each main entrance, controlled by a camera and buzzer system, but the extent of the construction will vary by school.

Lonsdale Elementary School, for example, currently has an open entryway with a nurses suite across from the main office. Configuring a second set of locked doors is more extensive than in a school like Saylesville Elementary School, "the simplest of all schools," said architect Brian O'Connell. Saylesville just needs to change the doors and add a security system, he said.

O'Connell, of Torrado Architects, gave a presentation to the School Committee on June 27.

The goal is to complete all camera, entry vestibule and audio visual system projects simultaneously, O'Connell said, so as not to leave one school more vulnerable than another.

Visitors will have to look into a camera before someone inside the school buzzes them inside the first set of doors, and then again for the second as an added security measure, O'Connell explained.

The "clever camera design" and good digital resolution will allow multiple people to monitor security, even off-site.

New walls will be blast-resistant, he said, and doors will have "slits" of glass instead of a door made of all, or even half, glass.

"Again, it's worst case scenario, but it's there to protect you," he told the School Committee and administrative team.

Lincoln High School's entryway is "the most challenging architecturally," O'Connell said, due to its large lobby and one set of doors. Builders could potentially pull the sally port entryway outside the physical building, he said, and make the existing set of doors the second set, leaving the inside of the building unchanged.

LHS would only need six exterior cameras to add to its fleet of 90 interior and four exterior, O'Connell said, as opposed to Lincoln Middle School, which is set to have 45 interior and nine exterior cameras installed, complete with software and training.

"If you don't cover every square inch of the building, someone will find a way to get in," O'Connell said.

Gilbane Inc. won the bid for general contractor.

The town appropriated $1,219,374 at the Financial Town Meeting for the school projects - $419,374 for security costs and $800,000 for a roof replacement at Northern Lincoln Elementary School.

The roof bid came in at $777,000, Business Manager Lori Miller said, but the remainder cannot be used for other projects.

The roof, which will carry a 20-year warranty, will be replaced in full and eligible for 30 percent reimbursement through the Rhode Island Department Education.

"Doing a partial roof was of great concern to me," said School Committee Vice Chairwoman Mary Anne Roll. "The fact that we can do the full roof is a plus."

Security costs, other than the physical entry vestibules, include the following:

* LHS cameras - $24,000.

* LMS cameras - $130,000.

* Lonsdale electrical upgrades - $49,000.

The School Committee unanimously approved these costs and the roof replacement - a total of $980,000 - on June 27.

That leaves $176,000 left from the town, Miller said, but the department still needs $440,463 to complete the entire project, which includes the following costs per school that total $617,000:

* Central Elementary School - $99,530.

* Lonsdale - $126,244.

* Northern Lincoln Elementary School - $80,764.

* Saylesville - $83,264.

* LMS - $68,832.

* LHS - $158,366.

That $440,463 can come out of the $1.8 million school surplus fund, Miller said, should the School Committee approve the transfer at a meeting scheduled for mid-week.

Without the surplus money, doors will be installed and physical construction completed this year, Miller said, and electric work and cameras next year. With it, everything can be done at once.