Spokane Journal of Business

East Valley School District starts $1.2 million in security upgrades

Vestibules to be completed before start of school year

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The eight schools of East Valley School District are getting new secured entries, district superintendent Kelly Shea says.

The new entries will prevent anyone who isn’t a student or staff member from entering the building without speaking to someone at the front desk first.

“Once they pass through the front doors, they will be in a vestibule, and they will not be able to go any farther unless they check into the office,” Shea says.

Work on the secured entries started in early June and is on track to be completed by the end of August, Shea says.

The cost of creating the secured entries at all eight schools is $1.2 million. The project is funded through a capital improvement levy passed by the district’s voters in 2018.

The Spokane office of Walla Walla-based Jackson Contractor Group Inc. is constructing the secured entries. Architects West Inc., of Coeur d’Alene, designed them.

Prior to the installation of the secured entries, visitors were “on the honor system” to check in at the front office before continuing to their destination, Shea says.

“However, if a person wanted to, it’s not too hard for them to simply walk in and have access to any part of the building they want without people really noticing,” Shea says.

Visitors will speak to staff through a transaction window, much like those seen at move theater box offices.

“If parent is there to pick up a child, then we’ll simply have the parent stay in the vestibule and we’ll bring the child down,” Shea says. “If it’s a volunteer, then we’ll check them in, go through the right process, and then we’ll buzz them in.”

East Valley School District’s buildings receiving safety enhancements includes Continuous Curriculum School, East Farms STEAM Magnet School, East Valley High School, East Valley Middle School, Otis Orchards Middle School, Trent Elementary, Trentwood Elementary, and Washington Academy of Arts and Technology.

Virginia Thomas
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Reporter Virginia Thomas has worked at the Journal since 2017 and covers the banking and finance industries. As a reporter, she loves learning about Spokane's many growing industries. She enjoys travelling with her husband, snuggling with her cats, and cross stitching.

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