Building Security Plan Initiated by School Board in Schoolcraft

By Sue Moore

Security of the four buildings in the Schoolcraft school district came down to a 3-3 vote at its July meeting, thus no action was taken on the proposal to do major renovation work at a cost of $157,000 to the building entrances. Skip Fox, president of the school board was absent.

What the board did agree upon unanimously was to spend approximately $40,000 on an electronic buzz-in system recommended by James Weiss, in charge of building maintenance/ technology. It would cost $13,704 to purchase and install door phones and another $18,166 for access controls. An additional $1,000 per door should be factored into the cost Weiss calculated.

“It is possible to shut the system down for certain hours when we know that groups will be coming into the buildings,” Superintendent Rusty Stitt emphasized, thus making the system more operable. This will take time to complete so we’re not promising it will get done by the beginning of the school year, Stitt said.

Board member Mike Rochholz who had been against the larger expenditure at the June meeting was positive about taking this initial step. But Darby Fetzer countered with her concern that the incoming traffic still needs to be funneled into the offices in each building and this type of system doesn’t do that.

Committee members studying the various proposals, Kathy Mastenbrook and David Krum explained that they were trying to seek a balance in expenditures vs. effectiveness so they both voted with Fetzer to make the entire expenditure and renovate the buildings. Rochholz, Matt Davis and Jeanette Marshall voted to hold off and re-evaluate the buzz-in system next spring to determine if it met the needs of the parents who have been asking for tighter security, especially at the elementary building.

Krum stressed his feelings, that members of the board need to get out and talk to the community before the August meeting and perhaps put the major renovation work back on the agenda, if enough people feel strongly about having the further enhancements discussed.

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