ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Construction crews are busy this spring break making security improvements to two Dougherty County schools. It's part of a bigger project to add safety features to older schools, ultimately improving safety for all students in the County.
Workers are busy drilling and hammering at Martin Luther King Junior Elementary. "When we get finished, the building will be a lot safer for the students and the staff," said DCSS Facilities Director Bob Fowler.
Safety is now a top priority for school systems across the country; something that wasn't a concern when some of these schools were built, decades ago.
"There was not a lot of concern about people coming into the building. Most everyone went to the office and checked in. But with the terrorism and all the other acts that have been going on, we have become very conscious of security in our schools," Fowler said.
MLK Elementary is one of 11 outdated schools getting a security entrance and electronic hardware.
"What we've done is we've allowed one of the doors to be left open at the front of the building and we're creating this secondary barrier inside the building that encourages people to go to the office."
The secondary barrier, which are locked doors, will be installed at MLK elementary in a few weeks.
Crews are currently preparing for the change, rearranging the front office to make a pathway for parents. They're also replacing the carpet with floor tile.
The school system is spending about $225,000 on the safety improvements which to many parents are priceless.
Almost all the schools have gotten upgrades. Crews will work at Alice Coachman Elementary School this week. And over the summer Lamar Reese Magnet school and International Studies Elementary Charter School will get the improvements.