Haleigh Packer, spokeswoman for Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools, says the main entrances at some facilities are being renovated to ensure visitors report to the office. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

Security upgrades happening at some Red Deer Schools

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools upgrading entrances

Renovations are underway at some Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools to ensure all visitors have to report to the main office upon arrival.

Spokeswoman Haleigh Packer said similar modifications have been completed at other schools in the division for safety and to monitor traffic flow.

“(Visitors) cannot walk directly into the school. They have to walk through the front office and meet with our administrative assistants,” Packer said.

Secure entry renovations should be complete by the beginning of September at St. Martin de Porres at 3911 57A Ave., St. Elizabeth Seton at 35 Addinell Ave., St. Francis Assisi at 321 Lindsay Ave., and St. Thomas Aquinas 3821 39th St.

Renovations are also happening at St. Dominic High School and St. Matthew Catholic School, both in Rocky Mountain House, and St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Catholic School in Innisfail.

Packer said renovations also ensure that visitors sign in at the office.

“In case there is ever an evacuation that needs to happen, or we go into some sort of drill, we know who is in our schools at the time and who is not in our schools.”

She said newer schools, like St. Joseph High School, were built to require visitors to go to the office when they arrive.

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Bruce Buruma, community relations director for Red Deer Public Schools, said the district’s newer schools, like Ecole Barry Wilson Elementary School, are also designed so that people must go to the office when they arrive.

At most of its other schools, the administration office is already near the entrance, and where warranted, security is upgraded.

“Safety and security is absolutely essential. If there are means through renovations that it can be done, we definitely consider it,” Buruma said.

“We do have a couple of schools where the office is not close to the main entrance. In those situations, then we have video surveillance in place.”

He said video surveillance is a reality today, whether it’s at a school, business or home.

“Supervision is another important part. Keeping eyes and ears open. School administration is out and about all the time.”



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

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