STERLING – Sterling school officials plan to beef up security around the district office at Sterling High School, beginning in September.
A vestibule with an exterior door will be built onto the south side of the building, Superintendent Tad Everett said.
“People will walk into the vestibule, and you will have to buzz in to get in the administration doors,” Everett said. “It’s a safety feature, because right now, there is no deterrent.”
Everett updated teachers and staff on the security changes at a “state of the schools” presentation Thursday morning at Centennial Auditorium. It was the first time teachers and staff had come together since the last days of school in the spring.
Local law enforcement has expressed concern with the lack of security around the district office, he said.
“We’ve had students just come in and walk through the door without saying anything,” said Tim Schwingle, the district’s finance director. “People have to check in.”
Other doors are locked during the school day as a safety measure.
The $94,000 project will be paid for with district funds and an $82,000 state safety grant. Construction will start in September and end in November.
School construction projects normally take place in the summer, but officials waited until the grant was approved and registration was over. And “we wanted to get school started prior to closing this entrance,” he said. Monday will be the first day.
Everett also talked about the completed Fifth Avenue street project.
“It’s a new road, new curb, new gutter and new sidewalk,” he said. “That was one of the worst roads in Sterling.”
The new road, built by the city, also has new lights and a new storm sewer, which will help with water runoff.
“We have decorative lighting around the district,” Everett said. “We have them on Fourth Avenue, and we are extending them onto Fifth Avenue.”
Everett also told teachers and staff that the tennis court project is coming along, but it’s not done yet. The old courts along East Miller Road on the north end of campus are being replaced.
“We have not received an occupancy permit because we have some fencing work and sodding to complete,” Everett said. “Our hope is to have the opening ceremony next week.”
Everett was not the only person who spoke Thursday.
Denise Harts, president of the Sterling Education Association, had some fun with teachers and staff.
She introduced them to the game Kahoot, a Web-based classroom response system that teachers can use for online quizzes and surveys for students.
Teachers and staff members pulled out their hand-held devices and answered questions about the history of Sterling. They were also able to see others’ responses.
“In our profession, we have a lot of demand and expectations, and sometimes, we can get overwhelmed,” Harts said. “This year, when you feel like you are stressed out and you want to change things up, I want you to consider this game.”