F-M adds security to schools

Recent school shootings have prompted numerous educational institutions nationwide to augment their safety and security procedures throughout campus.

Now, Fayetteville-Manlius School District has decided to take precautionary measures with action to follow soon.

Dr. Corliss Kaiser, superintendent of F-M Schools, said the district has taken the school tragedies around the country very seriously, and as a result, asked the Manlius police to help them move forward in strategy.

The Manlius police visited each building in the school district, and evaluated existing emergency plans for a crisis response, Kaiser said. Four chief recommendations were then made to the district:

Each building should contain emergency portable radios to be used for communication during a crisis.

Instead of keys, staff should have access to buildings through a proximity access card. A picture of the staff member is also included on the card, allowing it to be used for identification as well.

Install an intercom system for each building. A camera would also monitor individuals as they approach a school during school hours. The video/audio system would be set-up at the main entrance.

Place cameras on the periphery of buildings in order to observe the various entries.

Cost for the four main security measures listed above is $390,000.

In conjunction with those measures, the district will propose new doors district-wide. Although anybody can leave the school at any time, when a door is ajar, an alarm will be alerted, Kaiser said.

New windows are also being proposed for Mott Road Elementary, Enders Road Elementary and the high school cafeteria.

The cost for both the new doors and windows is $755,000.

Parking at Wellwood Middle School is also being addressed for safety reasons. Events attract more people than parking spaces, Kaiser said.

Kaiser emphasized that while security measures are significant, it's not a guarantee for 100 percent safety. "We cannot prevent all crises. We're putting in a deterrence."

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