Plano Spends $1 Million on Security Upgrades at School Campuses

By Kendra Lyn
|  Tuesday, Jul 16, 2013  |  Updated 11:17 PM CDT
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Recent shootings at public schools have led the Plano Independent School District to invest nearly $1 million in student safety and campus security.

Julie Fine, NBC 5 News

Recent shootings at public schools have led the Plano Independent School District to invest nearly $1 million in student safety and campus security.

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Plano Upgrades Security at School Campuses

Recent shootings at public schools have led the Plano Independent School District to invest nearly $1 million in student safety and campus security.
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Recent shootings at public schools have led the Plano Independent School District to invest nearly $1 million in student safety and campus security.

 After taking a hard look at both the liability and outrage from some parents, the board decided armed guards on campus are not the answer.

The district believes the first layer of security begins at the front door and crews are working to install new barriers at some of the campuses. The barriers will force visitors to check in at the office before they'll be granted access to the campus.

New entrances and reception areas at about 50 schools will prevent guests from walking into classrooms without going through the office, while more doors throughout the school will separate areas in case of a lockdown.

Schools soon will have more of a police presence, and the district is working with local departments to increase patrols.

At high schools, a peace officer will be hired to drive around campus in a marked car in addition to the school resource officer.

The district is also testing technology for emergencies.

In an effort to cut down on police response time, the district is currently testing panic buttons. Currently, each school has one in the main office, but the district hopes to arm staff at each early childhood and elementary campus with a dozen of the devices.

Additionally, select staff will wear the alarm. When activated, an alert would be sent to the police department and a text message would go out to other employees.

Lockdown drills will also double to four per year.

Parents are happy to hear of the new measures.

"We all want out children safe and feel safety is our No. 1 concern," Terri Murray said. "We should have them go to school and not worry about them at all."

"It is better to be prepared then caught off guard," Paresh Khanapurkar said.

Work on the campuses getting upgrades to their front-entry vestibules will be completed in the following phases:

Phase 1 (July-September)

  • Barksdale ES
  • Beaty ECS
  • Beverly ES
  • Carlisle ES
  • Carpenter MS
  • Dooley ES       
  • Guinn Center
  • Gulledge ES
  • Haun ES
  • Mathews ES
  • McCall ES
  • Miller ES
  • Pearson ECS
  • Rose Haggar ES
  • Saigling ES
  • Skaggs ES
  • Stinson ES

Phase 2 (October-January)

  • Andrews ES
  • Armstrong MS
  • Bowman MS
  • Centennial ES
  • Harrington ES
  • Hickey ES
  • Hightower ES
  • Huffman ES
  • Murphy MS
  • Thomas ES
  • Wells ES
  • Williams HS
  • Wyatt ES

Phase 3 (February-May)

  • Frankford MS
  • Bird Center
  • Christie ES
  • Haggard MS
  • Hughston ES
  • Jasper HS
  • Renner MS
  • Rice MS
  • Schimelpfenig MS
  • Shepard ES
  • Shepton HS
  • Wilson MS

NBC 5's Julie Fine contributed to this report.

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