BRASHER FALLS - St. Lawrence Central School voters will head to the polls today to cast their vote in a proposed $375,000 capital project to address security issues in the district.
The polls will be open from 1 to 7 p.m. in the high school gym lobby.
If approved, visitors will find it a little more difficult to enter the districts buildings, and teachers will also get the capability to lock their classroom doors from the inside in the event of an emergency. Most of the doors can currently be locked on the outside only.
District officials had originally planned to use cameras to beef up security around the schools. But, following the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., they opted to take security to a higher level by proposing a capital project that would provide more secure entrances to the schools and changes to the door locks in classrooms.
Upgrading security will require some work at the high school and elementary school by adding an identification window between the exterior and interior doors. Visitors will be able to enter through the exterior doors, but will need to produce identification and be buzzed in by a school employee before they can enter through the interior doors into the building.
As part of the project, theyll need to create a window between the two sets of doors at the high school and elementary school and a slot where visitors can provide their identification before entering the school. The entrance to the middle school will not be accessible during the day.
Superintendent Stephen M. Putman has noted that the high school will not require much change for the new configuration. At the elementary, however, the doors will need to be moved further toward the cafeteria, giving the room they need to provide a space to monitor visitors and sign them in.
They will also need to reconfigure the elementary office area to relocate the secretary to what is currently a conference and meeting room.
Once the project is complete, teachers will also be able to lock their classroom doors from the inside. They will also be able to open them from the inside when theyre locked, keeping two means of egress in each classroom, but the doors will remain locked from the outside.
Voter approval for the project is necessary because its an additional cost to their current project. The district is eligible for 98 percent state aid on the project and still has EXCEL aid remaining to cover the other 2 percent.