(Charleston)….When the state School Building Authority meets today [Monday], they’ll take a very important vote that will impact security at every new school in the state.
The SBA is expected to adopt an increase in the school construction square footage formula. That number will be between $50,000 and $75,000 to incorporate new safety concepts. Those include: shatter-proof glass, line of site entries, a mantrap and controlled entries on all doors.
The upgrades are estimated to cost about $2.50 per square foot. SBA Executive Director Mark Manchin says it’s worth every penny because it could save countless lives.
The new concepts came into play after last year’s deadly shooting at Newtown Elementary School where 20 students and 6 staff members were gunned down by a man who was able to access the front door of the building.
Schools in Wyoming, Pleasants, Jackson, Lewis and Gilmer Counties have already been granted money to make the safety changes.
Manchin says they’d like to retrofit every school building in the state but at this point that is cost prohibitive. That’s why they’re starting with the new construction schools where the additions can be made at a minimum cost.