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Salem schools are getting a new, electronic “proximity card” system to control building access.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
All Salem schools will soon have an electronic card entry system as a way of securing their buildings.
The school board recently approved the project and was briefed on specifics during a meeting Tuesday. The “proximity card” entry system for buildings was initially discussed last month.
The school board and city council held a joint meeting in May at which officials talked about the possibility of installing a card entry system in school buildings, among other additional security safeguards. The card systems can be used to secure the buildings during the day and after hours.
The card system was among the recommendations to come out of a school safety review committee convened earlier this year to look at safeguards in Salem City Schools.
Installation of the card system will cost about $66,500, and will upgrade the entry systems at the division’s elementary schools, which currently have magnetic card readers. The new system will use small computer chips, which officials said are more durable.
The new system will also add card entry at Andrew Lewis Middle and Salem High schools, which currently do not have such systems in place.
Andrew Lewis will have three card readers in place to gain entry into the building. There will be one at the back of the school, one at the front and one by the loading dock. Salem High will have four readers. Two will be in the back, one at the loading dock and one in the front.
Most of the elementary schools will have three card readers. One will be at the loading dock, one at the front and another at a door leading to the playground.
Several school systems in the Roanoke Valley have had a renewed focus on security measures in the wake of the December shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman killed 26 people and himself.
Roanoke County education officials also recently opted to upgrade their entry system with a new, computerized card access system for the division’s buildings that would monitor and control who enters.
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