One of the items approved by voters in School Bond 2014 was the expansion of bullet-resistant security lobbies at 30 elementary schools at a cost of $2.3 million. The first one was built last summer at Ellison Elementary School as a pilot.
Based on a successful experience at Ellison, and by Board action on December 9, 2014, eight more schools have been identified to get the additional security in Phase I of a three-phase initiative. More Phase I schools will be announced later. The plan is to eventually add this security feature to all 72 older elementary schools, although it is expected that the next bond will fund the remaining schools.
The latest bullet-resistant security lobbies will be built at these schools: Glass, Linton, McDermott, Mead, Meadow Village, Passmore, Rhodes, and Valley Hi elementaries.
Once installed, parents and visitors to the school must present their identification in this outer lobby where their driver's license is run through a computer system before access to the school is allowed.
In addition to the new outer lobbies, these elementary schools will get perimeter fencing. All NISD elementary schools have already received new digital security video camera systems and badge access controls.
These eight schools, which are located in a wide geographic swath from the Lackland AFB area to the South Texas Medical Center, were selected because of their different architectural designs which pose the greatest challenge to the architects and engineers to design an outer lobby that funnels students, staff and visitors through one entrance. Some schools are built as a single building and some have multiple buildings with have multiple entrances.
"Because NISD takes the safety and security of all its students and staff very seriously," these measures provide an additional layer of protection," says Dr. Brian T. Woods, Superintendent. "However the best protection we have is our community. We always need eyes and ears to alert us to possible problems. Parents and community members are encouraged to call the 24-hour SAFELINE at 397-SAFE (7233) to report anything suspicious."