HSE nearing completion of school safety upgrades - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

HSE nearing completion of school safety upgrades

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FISHERS -

The days of kids and visitors just walking into a school are practically over - many doors are now locked to protect them.

Hamilton Southeastern just spent about a million dollars to upgrade its security, fast-tracking the projects to keep students safe.

When anyone walks into Fishers High School, the layout gives them free reign to go anywhere in the building.

"The office was down several doorways, of course, you got a hallway off here to the right that would be basically unsupervised," said Michael Beresford, Hamilton Southeastern Schools.

Now, that's about to change - to Fishers High School and 15 other buildings in the Hamilton Southeastern school district.

After the shootings in Sandy Hook, the district assessed its safety procedures and school access. Millions of dollars later, construction of a secured vestibule is almost complete.

"The frame is up here and this will be a new doorway and this will be a bank of doors, just like the one that's in the front of the building," Beresford said.

The front doors are always locked and will stay that way, with the help of security cameras to capture someone's identity and they're buzzed in. Soon, they will have to take an extra step. The barrier will force parents and all visitors to go into the main office first.

"Parents will come in here and (there will) be a buzzer system here, be a visual of the person from the door, then buzz in and allow them to come in," said Beresford. "Then this door shuts, then they come up here and they do their credentialing. They would be buzzed into this door, which is another side."

There's only one entry point - through the office and with permission. It's the new school rule after officials consulted with security experts to make sure students stay safe.

Construction on the project is almost done.

"We're anticipating that they'll be completed by end of August with getting glass in. There's some electronics that need to happen," Beresford said.

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