Construction will take place this summer to secure entrances at Wyoming Public Schools’ eight school buildings, a project Wyoming Superintendent Tom Reeder said is too important to not pursue.
Renovating entrances at the schools was part of a $37 million bond issue which failed in November. While renovated entrances proposed in the bond would have cost $2.5 million, the district is taking a “barebones” approach to the project now, Reeder said. Improvements will cost about $400,000. At each school, the only entry door to remain unlocked during school hours will open into a vestibule leading to the main office, and a buzzer system will be in place for entry. Another door will lead from the office into the school.
“We did what we could afford,” Reeder said, noting that the bond would have allowed more extensive renovations of entryways. “We think this is important enough we have to do something.”
A grant from the State of Michigan will pay for a quarter of the project a grant and remaining funding will come from the district’s site fund, set aside from the sale of the buildings. Draper Group, LLC, will complete the work.
Reeder said it’s a different era than when Wyoming school buildings were constructed, and safety is a growing concern in the wake of nationwide school shootings that have increased in frequency.
“We need to ensure our staff and children are as safe during the day as possible,” he said.
The entrances will ensure visitors check into the office before entering the school.
“We need to know who you are to make sure kids are safe at all times.”