Blair Oaks to add electronic doors

Sgt. Ralph Lemongelli fires a starter pistol Friday in the hallway at Blair Oaks Middle School as teachers and staff from all three Blair Oaks schools attend intruder training held in the middle school. They learned tactics to keep students and themselves safe in the case of a gun-wielding intruder in the school building.

Sgt. Ralph Lemongelli fires a starter pistol Friday in the hallway at Blair Oaks Middle School as teachers and staff from all three Blair Oaks schools attend intruder training held in the middle school. They learned tactics to keep students and themselves safe in the case of a gun-wielding intruder in the school building.

WARDSVILLE, Mo. -- The Blair Oaks Board of Education on Tuesday approved a plan to solicit bids for controlled access doors at five locations on the campus.

The new doors would allow faculty and staff to come and go with the wave of a small, white keycard. The electronic doors also could be programmed to allow groups of students to enter buildings during specific times of the day, while barring entry at other times. Visitors could be buzzed in, Superintendent Jim Jones explained.

A similar mechanism was installed, as a test, at the back of Blair Oaks Elementary school last year. Elementary School Principal Kim Rodriquez said the new entry system has helped, not hindered, staff.

“It hasn’t been annoying or inefficient,” she reported. “It’s actually more convenient than keys.”

At the high school, the new controlled-access doors would be installed: at the front of the school under the metal canopy; at the rear of the school and near the music/industrial arts building. The front entrances of the middle and elementary schools also would receive new controlled-access mechanisms.

Jones anticipates installing the cameras and keyless entry systems will likely cost the district about $8,000 per door.

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