Beecher Road School’s staff, students and parents will return from spring break to find a “sally port” at the school’s north entry. The sally port is part of a comprehensive set of security measures to be included as part of the school’s building upgrade. The sally port will create a third set of protective doors at the school’s main entry. Similar to before, visitors will be buzzed in through the building’s first set of doors. Between the second and third set of doors, visitors will be able to communicate with main office staff via a communication window. Through a reception drawer, visitors may drop off an item for a student, such as lunch, permission slips or keys. If the visitor needs to enter the school, the visitor will leave their driver’s license and will be issued a temporary visitor’s pass. The visitor then will be buzzed in through the next set of doors.
This set of security measures is similar to procedures in the Bethany and Orange schools and many other schools throughout the state and country. “The building upgrade is about making our school more secure and more energy efficient,” said Superintendent Dr. Guy Stella. “The sally port will send a clear message that the Town values our students’ safety. However, in spite of added security measures, we will continue to do everything possible to make parents feel welcomed at the school.”
“The building renovation at Beecher Road School is an incredibly important project,” said First Selectman Ellen Scalettar. “While it is unfortunate that new safety measures are necessary, it is today’s reality. When all the work is complete the building will be as outstanding as the learning that goes on inside.”
The $13.4 million project was approved by referendum in February of 2014, and work on the project began last summer. Energy Systems Group is managing the building upgrade which includes energy conservation measures, building envelope improvements, lighting upgrades, security enhancements and more.
The Beecher Road School renovation project is scheduled to be completed next winter. During the summer break, the school will become a major construction zone. The pool will be closed; summer programs will be conducted at both Amity High School and Ezra Academy.
Major work projects will include installation of a new roofs on the B and C Wings, installation of solar panels on the school’s roof, new window walls in the B wing, as well as completion of the new heating and air conditioning system, which is expected to be finalized to provide central air in time for next school year.
Last summer the wiring and piping was installed and updated in preparation for this summer’s work, and major work was done on the A Wing, including the installation of a new roof, window walls, ventilators and painting of classrooms and main hallways.