Safety, Security, and ADA Upgrades
A school’s mission is to nurture and educate children. A safe and secure environment is a necessity for children to learn and reach their full potential.
This is why school security is top of mind for everyone, including parents, faculty and staff, administration, school boards and students.
Every school and student body is different; there is no one-size-fits-all security solution. Even within one district, individual school buildings have unique floorplans with distinct student schedules and flow.
There are three things every K-12 school can do to ensure a safe, secure learning environment:
- Control and monitor access (primarily through access control technology).
- Establish lockdown procedures to secure classrooms and designated areas during an event.
- Install video surveillance systems to monitor key locations and student flow.
Good school design helps students feel safer in their environments. Providing appropriate spaces for circulation and traffic flow, proper lighting levels in restrooms, locker rooms and areas with less active supervision will help make students feel more comfortable. Restroom design and layout can also help foster safer environments with privacy in locker rooms and bathrooms, shared spaces for activities like handwashing that can be more easily monitored, vandalism resistant materials and accessibility to fixtures for all people.
A safe and secure environment doesn’t end just there. Schools are also threatened by high-wind storms, microorganisms, bullying and inaccessibility to day-to-day necessities for students.
Storm shelter design is becoming more prevalent in projects with school officials asking for flexible spaces that double as storm shelters during high-wind events, including community gymnasiums fully equipped with restrooms and generators for backup power.
The key to safety is to be in a structurally sound space that is designed to withstand extreme wind events including tornadoes. Some of the spaces normally used during extreme wind events can appear to be structurally sound, but may not always be when subjected to the loads from an extreme wind event.