MORRISTOWN Construction on a new, more secure front entrance at Morristown Central School is nearing completion with just the finishing touches left.
The entrance now features an air-lock style door system that will enable people in the main office to observe who is coming and going and either grant or deny access to the building.
Plans for the new entrance began taking shape earlier this year when the district set aside $100,000 in their 2013-14 budget for construction.
Superintendent David J. Glover said the project came in well under the $100,000 mark and the district will be reimbursed by the state in the next fiscal year.
Were still shooting for [completion by] the end of the calendar year, Mr. Glover said, adding that a video-call box and buzzer system still need to be installed before the entrance is fully operational.
Although plans for the project were announced early in the year, an active shooter drill held in conjunction with the law enforcement agencies in May gave the district a chance to review their security protocols.
The drill saw two law enforcement agents acting as school shooters with officers from Ogdensburg and Gouverneur, the state police, Customs and Border Protection, Border Patrol and the St. Lawrence County Sheriffs Department arriving to eliminate the threat.
After we went through the active shooter drill, there were a list of recommendations and making a more secure front entrance was part of that, Mr. Glover said.
Mr. Glover noted that the front entrance is just the first of several projects the district will have over the next several years in an effort to make the building as secure as possible.
In March, Mr. Glover mentioned that in a future project, the district may change out many of the larger windows in classroom doors with smaller ones to prevent intruders from looking inside them.
Another possible project Mr. Glover mentioned was the addition of fire doors that could be lowered to isolate an intruder to prevent them from gaining access to the entire building.
The idea is to take a little bit each year and work on it, he said. That was we dont have to go into debt.