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Building report addresses security issues
The building assessment report prepared by Scott Rose of the DLR Group for the La Grande School District recommends that at least $1 million be spent to boost security in the La Grande School District.
A big portion of this sum would go toward making changes in portions of La Grande Middle School, La Grande High School and Island City Elementary School so that classrooms are more secure.
Sections of all three schools — including the second floor of La Grande Middle School, the second floor of the west portion of La Grande High School and much of Island City Elementary — have open classrooms that lack doors and complete walls.
La Grande School District Superintendent Larry Glaze said secure doors and walls need to be added to these classrooms to allow for complete lockdowns in the event that a violent intruder walks into one of the schools.
The total cost of installing secure doors and walls in these classrooms would be about $1 million. This would include the cost of the ventilation work that would be needed. Such work would be required to adjust for the air flow that would be blocked and altered by the new doors and walls.
The open style classrooms were all constructed in the late 1970s. The classrooms reflect an educational philosophy at the time.
“The intent was to have a less restrictive educational environment,” Glaze said.
The classrooms were built years before the increase in violent events in schools started occurring throughout the nation, making lockdowns a more common occurrence.
“Security, unfortunately, has had to become more and more important to us,” Glaze said.