CPS to make security updates to all schools

Construction to begin on high schools this summer

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Columbia Public schools is renovating its buildings to add an extra layer of security. 

Each school will have a single point of entry and a secure entryway. During the day, guests will have to be let into the building by speaking with a secretary using a phone, or a door monitor.

All CPS buildings constructed within the last 10 years, such as Battle High School, were built with secure entryways. 

"We are in the process now of retrofitting our existing older buildings. We started this summer with the Aslin Administration building so that we could sort of be the test case," said CPS Spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark. 

She said the cost of the updates to the buildings is different in each case because the buildings were constructed at different times. 

She said the funding comes from bond funds that were set aside during the last bond issue, as  well as capital project funds. 

Construction for single point entryways has started at Blue Ridge Elementary School and Oakland Middle School. 

"We also have the plans in place to be able to do that at Rock Bridge High School as well as at Hickman High School. Those two projects will actually be completed later this fall," Baumstark said. 

She said the schools that have not been constructed to have a single point of entry are still secure with buzz in systems. 

Baumstark said because the renovations are a construction project, crews will not update all of the schools at once. 

She said the updates can provide an extra sense of security for students so they can focus on learning. 

"I think it's one of those things where, you know, our campuses during the day are not open campuses. So, you know, we can't just have people coming and going who aren't supposed to be there," she said. 

The district will also hire three door monitors which will help people get from point A to point B. Two will work at Rock Bridge High School and one will work at Hickman High School. 

Baumstark said they are not armed security guards, but are there to help with the flow of traffic. 

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