Rockwood Hopes to Add $5M in New Security Features

Improving safety measures has been a renewed emphasis this month throughout the Rockwood School District. This article follows up a previous article regarding whether the district's security "is enough."

In the aftermath of the shooting deaths at Newtown, CT, Rockwood School District students, parents, teachers and staff returned to school after winter break a few weeks ago with a heightened awareness and interest in safety and security measures. Trying to stay ahead of this important initiative, Rockwood Superintendent Bruce Borchers called a meeting among administrators and principals on Jan. 2, prior to classes starting, to make sure current safety procedures were being enforced properly.

See related article: Rockwood Security: Is It Enough?

Borchers said one of things shared by principals at this meeting was many school offices do not have a “line-of-sight” with the front entrance of the school. He said it was suggested the construction of a visitor “check-in” center located right by the front doors would ensure greater visibility to anyone approaching the school entrance. 

Borchers said Picture Rockwood Facilitating Team members were invited to this principal meeting. Those citizens approved moving forward with some safety items as part of the final Picture Rockwood recommendation—which included a bond issue with the following proposed safety projects totaling more than $5 million:

  • Update security cameras
  • Add 200 more security cameras
  • Upgrade public address systems
  • Provide generator back-up for phone systems
  • Install visitor/identification security system
  • Install new locking system for interior classroom doors
  • Update fire sprinkling system to meet code required at time of building renovations

On Jan. 17, Rockwood's Board of Education directors approved placing a $38.4 million no-tax increase bond issue on the April 2 ballot. Click here for more details about the bond issue.

When visiting Rockwood schools while school is in session, how would you rate the level of security measures currently in place?

Marc Perez January 27, 2013 at 12:13 PM
Just one small question, Will any of this stop a person with a gun intending on doing evil stop a person from harming people?
JOYCE COULTER January 27, 2013 at 03:22 PM
I don't know what they can do to fix this problem or if it is fixable. For example, my son's middle school does have to buzz you in to get in the front door during school hours, but more than a handful of times I have inadvertently walked right past the front office without being approached, had to remember to turn around and go back to sign in at the office. So anyone else could do the same thing. "Security" there is very lax in my opinion.
David Miller January 27, 2013 at 10:34 PM
One problem: the Newtown shooter didn't come through the front door or wait to be buzzed in. Use the $16 million surplus NOW to address security issues and not wait until the bond issue passes in April.
Jim Descher January 28, 2013 at 12:12 AM
I am not too happy that this security upgrade is tied into the overall bond issue. I think there have been serious questions with this administration and some financial dealings in hirings and infrastructure contracts and that is why recent bond issues failed. Let's separate the security issue from the rest of the bond issue and vote on each.
Marc Perez January 28, 2013 at 12:34 AM
Rockwood is well financed, our school tax is very high. The waste and excess should be addressed but it is not. There is room for the belt to be tightened.... I have no doubt there are many in the district who have difficulties making ends meet. Enough spending, take a hint.
Eileen Tyrrell January 28, 2013 at 06:54 AM
Excellent point Jim. Noteworthy to mention is Rockwood is under a full scope compliance audit by the State's Auditor's Office which began in July 2012. Fieldwork began in July 2011 and was completed early January 2012. The auditors are currently working on a report of their findings. The parents, citizens and taxpayers of this district need to know and understand the results of this large scope audit, before deciding on another ballot measure. Security of our students should not be tied to a yes or not vote on a ballot measure. Every other school district is moving forward on necessary security measure; Melhville being one district who is taking the lead in this area. Rockwood currently holding $16 million more in their "savings account" than is required by board policy. Eileen Tyrrell Co-Founder/Spokesperson RS for RS
Eileen Tyrrell January 28, 2013 at 06:57 AM
I agree with you Joyce. We can have all the security measure in place, however, if they are not followed and enforced by staff than what is the purpose. Eileen Tyrrell CoFounder/Spokesperson RS for RS


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