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New Charles Town-area school would have latest security features

September 09, 2008|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- A planned new elementary school next to the Breckenridge subdivision off Job Corps Road north of Charles Town will have some of the latest security technology, an architect for the project told school officials Monday night.

When anyone comes close to an exit inside the school, an alarm will sound in the secretary's office, said Greg Williamson with William Shriver Architects.

Using a monitor, the secretary can see who is leaving the building and will know there is no reason for concern if a teacher is taking a class outside, Williamson said.

But the secretary can take action if it is a student leaving alone, Williamson said.

"It's pretty new (technology). We've used it in two or three schools," Williamson said.

Williamson was briefing the Jefferson County Board of Education on the latest design of the school that will serve about 500 students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

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The school, which is targeted to be completed by fall of 2010, is needed to accommodate growing residential development in Breckenridge, Halltown, Bakerton and other nearby areas and to help relieve crowding in other elementary schools.

The school, which has yet to be named, will allow school officials to do away with most portable classrooms at elementary schools across the county, Superintendent of Schools Susan Wall has said.

If an intruder enters the school, school officials can activate a panic alarm that will cause fire doors to close, securing various sections of the building, Williamson said.

Visitors will enter the front of the building and will use a system of call buttons and intercom systems. To enter the school, visitors will have to go through the main office, Williamson said.

That eliminates relying on visitors to report to a main office of a school when entering, school officials said.

The county has received $6.4 million to build the estimated $10 million school, and other funds will come from county impact fees, school officials have said.

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