PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles School District is adding controlled access to all of its elementary and middle school buildings.
To enhance the controlled access, there are plans to install security vestibules at each elementary school and the middle school, an effort that started at Jefferson Elementary School.
By installing a safety vestibule, those entering the building must be cleared by office staff before being able to proceed to classroom areas.
“It will be kind of our prototypical model that we’ll demonstrate to our community,” Superintendent Martin Brewer said during the Port Angeles School District board meeting Thursday.
“This is taking us to this new phase of safety and security in schools.”
The security vestibule at Jefferson Elementary will be completed by the end of spring break.
There will be an access button on the door itself as well as in the office.
Staff members with a building access card will be able to proceed through the doors. Other visitors will need to be authenticated prior to gaining access to student and staff areas.
“Hoch Construction installed the metal framing and our maintenance crew are doing the rest,” said Facilities Director Nolan Duce.
According to Duce, the cost of the project at Jefferson will be close to $6,500.
“As of [Feb. 27] the doors are in and waiting final inspection,” Duce said. “There are two coats of drywall compound completed with one more to go. We hope to be ready for paint early next week.”
“Port Angeles School District is dedicated to continuing to enhance security measures of this nature to protect our most important assets — our students and staff,” Brewer said.
Brewer said the district is also continuing to prepare staff for if there is an active shooter.
He said law enforcement are helping to train staff at each building in the district.
“They’ll talk about best practices around that horrifying school shooting event,” Brewer said.
“Hopefully we’ll never need to use that, but we always need to be prepared.”
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].