By BROOKE WHITLING
As a part of renovations made over the summer, the Cranberry Area School District installed many features at the high school that will enhance the safety of both the students and staff.
These improvements include the installation of cement bollards, a vestibule directing visitors into the office, new systems to direct traffic, and safety screens on all exterior windows.
In Officer Rob Finch’s words, “We’ve accomplished a lot in securing our school.”
The cement bollards, located in both the front and back of the building, will prevent vehicles from colliding with the school’s glass entrances.
Another addition is the construction of a vestibule. This ensures that visitors are reporting to the office before they venture through the school.
As the renovations continued, the school developed a separate parental drop-off zone and finished installing Kane safety screens.
“No longer having parents drop off in the same place as the buses is huge,” states Principal Ritt Smith.
In years prior, when parents were dropping off their children in the bus lanes, school traffic was chaotic. Buses were often held up due to students walking through bus lanes and parents creating vehicular blockage. By constructing a drop off zone to the right of the bus lanes, traffic conditions are improved and student safety is more guaranteed.
The inclusion of Kane safety screens on all exterior entrances were installed to allow the school more time in the case of an intruder. While these screens are not bullet proof, they would slow down an individual attempting to enter using tools. Ideally, authorities would be able to arrive before the attacker could enter the building.
“When something happens, you want to have time,” Smith added, confident that the screens would afford the school that time.
While it is apparent that the school district has made many advancements in the overall safety of the school, members of the security department disclosed that there are still several improvements in the works. These include moving the School Resource Officer’s office to the front of the building, putting the staff and student body through A.L.I.C.E. Training, and replacing the metal gates that secure the hallways.
Both administrators and members of Cranberry’s security department are pleased with these efforts.
Brooke Whitling and Gabe Dresbach are students at Cranberry High School and members of Cranberry Chronicles, the school’s journalism/publications class.