Construction starts on new secure entries in 31 Springfield schools

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3/KSPR) - Springfield Public Schools will spend close to $8 million on 33 new secure entrances at 31 different buildings over the 2019 summer vacation. This is possible because voters in the Springfield School District approved a $168 million bond to improve area schools in last April's election.

The Executive Director of Operations of Springfield Public Schools says work got started during the second week of June. "This is an example of Central High School where we've got two entrances, front and back, that we're doing here," began Travis Shaw.

Shaw said Central High School will be one of the most challenging schools when it comes to creating a secured entrance because of the massive entry-way in the front of the building. "The architects did a great job of designing a space that creates a large vestibule that secures visitors into the building prior to having access to the building," he said. He added that Central High School was also a challenge for architects because of the two stairways on either sides of the main entrance. Shaw said the glass, store-front style they'll use at Central High School's main entrance allows the school's history to shine while protecting those inside.

KY3 and KSPR News Reporter Lexi Spivak asked Shaw if the glass they are using is bullet-proof. "It's not bullet-proof, bullet-proof tends to be very cost prohibitive to schools," Shaw responded. Shaw explained bullet-proof glass costs around $350 per square foot, while the glass they are getting costs just $15 per square foot. Shaw explained they are adding a protective film to the glass to make it shatter-resistant. "Somebody can take a baseball bat, if you will, and beat on it 100 times and it's not going to break and come through."

Shaw said he understood there will be people who don't know if these measures are enough, while others may think this is all too much. He explained it's the world we live in and that Springfield staff members and students deserve to feel safe. "You can't do anything 100%," started Shaw, "but there are measures that we can put in place to really focus on the people that come into the building that are guests have been cleared and vetted by our staff."

Shaw said not all of the updated secure entries will be completed in time for the first day of the 2019-2020 school year.