Prior to winter break, everyone has seen men in orange installing speakers around the school. They’ve been placed in the hallways, auditorium, cafeteria, and even the bathrooms in order to help alert students and staff for emergencies, drills and announcements outside of the classroom.
“One of the challenges that we have right now are spaces without telephones,” said Darryl Miles, vice principal in charge of building maintenance.
The newly-installed speakers will cover all the spaces in school that were not covered, Miles said, and will act like the classroom intercoms to signal the emergency or drill.
Speakers aren’t the only upgrade Cleveland is getting. To improve security and safety, the school will be implementing a monitored lock system for the school doors, as well as adding fencing along the driveways on 28th to prevent unauthorized people from coming onto campus. In addition, the building has been canvassed for the installation of security cameras, administrators said.
Principal Leo Lawyer said the cameras’ purpose is solely for student safety, but could also be used as a forensic measure to find out who is vandalising school property or causing disruptions by pulling fire alarms. Lawyer hopes to have the cameras installed by the end of this school year, “but there is no guarantee. It is my hope we will have the system in by fall of 2020,” he said.
The upgrades will mean that all students will have to enter through the front doors and be buzzed in by a school secretary. “It will start as an inconvenience going through those gates, but it will become routine to enter through the front doors,” Principal Lawyer said on the adjustment to the new lock system. “Upgrades will provide us with the opportunity to control who enters the building and who doesn’t belong on school grounds.”