The Red Deer Public School District is spending approximately $350,000 this summer to outfit all its schools with card access systems.
The transition to keyless access — key fob-like devices will be swiped to enter doors next school year — is being made to increase security at local schools. At present, if someone with a master key loses their key, all locks have to be changed and new keys cut. If someone loses a fob, it can be programmed not to work afterwards.
Schools will still be accessible to parents and the public during the day. Associate superintendent Cody McClintock said the new system is more for after-hours access of teachers and user groups.
Among the division’s other planned summer renovation projects are roof replacements at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School and what will become Gateway Christian School. McClintock said the replacements, for which $260,000 and $460,000 are budgeted, respectively, are proactive measures.
The division also is spending money on structural roof analyses for snow loads. While there were no significant issues during the last winter of significant snowfall, the studies of seven school roofs will see how each structure is able to hold up under the weight.
In addition to the other projects, work on a $5-million modernization of Annie L. Gaetz Elementary School will start this summer. Along with upgrades to the building’s mechanical and electrical systems, the current courtyard will become a library with a mezzanine above and a new open air courtyard will be created on the building’s south side. The existing library will be made into two classrooms.
The division hopes to have the work done during the 2014-15 school year with minimal impacts on the school population.