PILOT MOUNTAIN — Now that students have had a few days to learn their way around campuses, Surry County Schools is ready to launch a new security system.
Back in March, the county Board of Education voted to hire a contractor to install security doors at the three high schools to prevent access by outsiders.
The district’s elementary and middle schools already installed the Trilogy door system by Alarm Lock. These doors have three ways to be opened: by a key, a numbered punch code or a keyless microchip that can be attached to a student ID card to slide in a pocket or wear on a lanyard.
When high school students are traveling between wings, the ID card will unlock the door with a simple swipe, but outsiders won’t be able to gain access.
The district is getting the word out to parents so that they can help students remember to carry their ID cards on every school day.
“Safety is always a top concern of the Surry County Schools Board of Education,” said Sonia Dickerson, director of communications. “Through their efforts and the continuing support of the Surry County Board of Commissioners, high schools will now have the most efficient safety measures available.”
The Trilogy locks aren’t cheap, costing hundreds of dollars each. In March the school board awarded the contract to the low bidder, Seven Oaks Doors & Hardware, for $99,980.
In addition to the access doors on buildings, the main entranceways will have the Aiphone Access Control System, an electronic entry security system on the front door, which consists of a buzz-in intercom to the front office. This system will require the front office staff to unlock the door before visitors may enter.
The Aiphone System will work in conjunction with the existing surveillance camera systems already in place at the schools so that staff can see who is trying to enter.
East Surry will be the first school to try out the system, beginning Tuesday when teens return from the Labor Day holiday. Any hiccups will be addressed, then the rollout will continue at Surry Central and then North Surry (which has the most doors needing access) by Halloween.
Dr. Travis L. Reeves, superintendent, thanked the school board and county commissioners “for their efforts to make safety a top priority. It provides security for students and a peace of mind for parents. … This increased security measure helps to ensure that schools are a safe place where learning is the primary focus.”
Reach Jeff at 415-4692.