By Allison Collins
SIDNEY – The second phase of a capital project initiated in 2014 is nearing completion at Sidney Central School with the implementation of a campus-wide single-entry system.
The district announced the new system, which will require all visitors to check in through a secure vestibule, via a social media video posted last week.
The increased security measures represent $1 million of a roughly $14 million New York State-funded project under the Smart School Act.
According to the New York State Education Department, the Smart School Bond Act, approved by voters in 2014, authorized the issuance of $2 billion of general obligation bonds to finance improved educational technology and infrastructure to improve learning and opportunity for students statewide.
Sidney administrators said finishing this phase means students and staff can feel safer at school.
“We’ll have one point of entry, so when parents, guardians or visitors come (to the school), they’ll go in through the secure vestibule,” Sidney Superintendent Dr. William Christensen said. “If people are dropping off or picking up, they’ll do it all through that vestibule; we won’t have anyone wandering the hallways.”
Introducing the new system, Christensen said, will hopefully alleviate difficulty monitoring visitor entry and egress.
“One of the problems we’ve had in the past is that there are so many exterior doors on the campus,” he said. “That still could be a thing, but now those doors will be alarmed and we’ll have cameras at all points of entry.”
“It’s a good step in the right direction,” Christensen said. “The idea here is to keep it as safe as possible, but also provide some order in and out of the school.”