The Springfield School District is constructing the new Early Childhood Center next to Carver Middle School. It will feature a secure entrance and special glass that’s very tough to get through.
Architects at Paragon Architecture have worked with more than 40 school districts across the state. Owner Brad Erwin says secure entrances start with making sure students are separated from buses and cars, and there is a clear view of the entrance. Erwin says the next important feature is having multiple doors where school staff have control of who can get into the school and the main hallway or commons. That is something Springfield schools are putting in at every school. in some designs, architects also separate the front entry from the classrooms by some distance, and in some cases, they have a set of doors that can be quickly closed at the push of a button to separate the classroom part of the school from the front office area. They also work to make sure students and staff have multiple ways to exit from their classrooms, through windows and doors off the main corridor.
Many of these security features have now become a normal part of school design.
“I think what’s really nice is that we’re getting some great buy-in from community, administration, and boards of education to make sure those safety and security measures are thought of as part of an early part of the design process, so that it’s designed integrally into the facility,” said Erwin. “It’s not an add-on later or an after-the-fact after it’s constructed.”
Other safety measures in Springfield Public Schools include school police, intercoms, cameras, and their new visitor management system, where visitors have their ID checked against the sex offender registry and wear a badge with their picture on it.