Contract OK’d For Vestibules
$194K For School Safety
Posted: February 13, 2013
HARRISONBURG — Installing secure vestibules in six county schools will cost slightly less than anticipated.
During a meeting Monday night, the Rockingham County School Board awarded a contract to the lowest bidder, Dink’s Construction of Harrisonburg, to create the vestibule entrances for $194,107. Earlier estimates put the price of the projects at $196,000 and $215,000.
The entrances’ main feature is that visitors can’t waltz through the front doors unnoticed. Rather, they are filtered into the main office through the vestibule, which will have several other safety features, such as cameras or speakers, electric latches that must be unlocked by office staff and shatter-resistant glass.
Rockingham County Schools, as well as Harrisonburg City Schools, made installing the entrances a priority following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn.
Steve Reid, director of maintenance for Rockingham County Schools, said two other contractors also put in bids: Harrisonburg Construction for $262,310 and Nielsen Construction for $207,316.
The next division project to go out for bids will be retrofitting schools that already have secure entrances with additional safety features, including the shatter-resistant glass, Reid said.
The division is also out to bid on updating middle school camera systems and outfitting Plains Elementary School with a secure entrance. Because Plains’ office will have to be gutted and rebuilt, that project alone is expected to cost about $150,000.
The Dayton Learning Center also will receive security updates.
The county projects will be paid for with up to $500,000 approved by the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors.
Harrisonburg City Schools also plans to install the safer entryways at five of its schools: Keister, Waterman, Stone Spring and Spotswood elementary schools and Thomas Harrison Middle School.
During a City Council meeting Tuesday night the council approved the transfer of $250,000 into the division’s capital project fund to cover the safety improvements.
A feasibility study completed by Moseley Architects put the price of installing the entrances in the five city schools at $240,000. In addition to creating vestibules, the study includes plans for video surveillance displays in the main office, a panic button that alerts the building of a lockdown and calls 911, and a buzzer system.
In mid-January, the Harrisonburg City School Board agreed to ask council for funds to install entryways at the five schools and to go out to bid on the vestibules.
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