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Campus upgrades could improve school security

 At LHHS, the office could get moved to the sreetside of the campus near the intersection of Palo Verde and Kiowa Blvds.
At LHHS, the office could get moved to the sreetside of the campus near the intersection of Palo Verde and Kiowa Blvds.

Remodel projects at Lake Havasu City schools could improve campus security, according to Lake Havasu Unified School District officials.

Securing points of entry at all school campuses was discussed during Tuesday’s LHUSD governing board meeting. Mike Murray, the district’s business services director, showed board members a few rough sketches of proposed changes to Havasu schools.

For example, one illustration proposed moving the high school’s main office to the streetside of the campus just off the Palo Verde-Kiowa intersection. The sketch shows that the new office would be constructed in the area between the Performing Arts Center and the school’s cafeteria.

“It would also reestablish the fence line where there is no fence now,” Murray said of the initial plan.

The same concept would be applied to all district schools. School personnel would work behind security glass. Access to lobbies would remain wide open, but visitors must be “buzzed through” doors to gain access to any other parts of the building. Exterior fencing would further secure the campus.

“We’re looking at exterior access to buildings with regard to safety. Even with perimeter fencing, we want to avoid a prison look. Our schools should look inviting but secure. We want our schools to be welcoming places,” Murray said. “It’s challenging but doable.”

The drawings were the result of a meeting between district officials and architects from EMC2.

It is the same firm that devised the plans for athletic fields such as Lee Barnes Stadium for Phase 1 of the bond-funded improvement projects.

There was no discussion of timelines or funding because the projects are still in conceptual stages.

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by Pam Ashley, Today's News-Herald
Oct 24, 2019


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