District 15 projects $810K expense to upgrade security at 11 schools

 
 
Updated 2/15/2019 3:53 PM
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  • Plum Grove Junior High School in Rolling Meadows will be among five buildings this summer to receive enhanced security work at the main entrance.

    Plum Grove Junior High School in Rolling Meadows will be among five buildings this summer to receive enhanced security work at the main entrance. Daily Herald file photo, 2016

Palatine Township Elementary District 15 plans to install buzzers and perform other work in an effort to enhance security at the front entrances of several schools.

Chief School Business Official Michael Adamczyk said the secured entry projects will be done in two waves at 11 buildings for a projected $810,320. The goal is for completion of the upgrades at the 11 schools before the 2020-21 academic season.

District 15 officials said all 20 schools will have controlled entrances for visitors after the project is completed.

Adamczyk said it could cost up to $325,000 for work at the first five schools this summer. The improvements will be at Virginia Lake Elementary School in Palatine, Plum Grove Junior High School in Rolling Meadows, Carl Sandburg Junior High School in Rolling Meadows, Kimball Hill Elementary School in Rolling Meadows and Hunting Ridge Elementary School in Palatine.

To beef up the main entrances, the work will involve the installation of a buzzer system to control access to the doors. Main office areas at some of the schools will need renovations, such as installation or relocation of doors, said architect Jennifer Costanzo of Chicago-based STR Partners.

Adamczyk said the proposal also includes the addition of polyester window film to prevent glass from shattering if a brick or another heavy object is thrown.

District 15 officials reviewed the plans with architects and representatives of police and fire departments from Rolling Meadows, Palatine and Hoffman Estates.

"Really, the goal of the controlled access is to delay the intruders as much as you can," Adamczyk said during a meeting of District 15's advisory finance committee this week.

In response to a query from school board member David Border, Costanzo said the five buildings that'll receive the security upgrades in the summer were selected because not as many renovations are needed and the work can be done under a tight summer schedule.

Costanzo said bids will be solicited from contractors next month. It's expected that the District 15 school board will be asked to consider the lowest responsible bids in April.

On the list for summer 2020 are Central Road Elementary School in Rolling Meadows, Lincoln Elementary School in Palatine, Walter R. Sundling Junior High School in Palatine, Stuart R. Paddock Elementary School in Palatine, Frank C. Whiteley Elementary School in Hoffman Estates and Marion Jordan Elementary School in Palatine.

District 15 board members in January agreed that documents should be prepared to seek bidders for the security work.

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