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RES targets doors to improve security

The front doors at Rosemount Elementary School have bothered principal Tom Idstrom for years. Now, in the wake of the recent school shooting in Newtown, Conn., Idstrom is turning to parents for help paying for some improvements he believes will both increase safety for students and make the school friendlier to visitors.

As the building is currently set up, visitors to RES enter at what the school calls its link area, a spot where several hallways come together. Employees in the RES office can see people as they come in, and a couple of quick left turns brings visitors to the office. But until recently, there was little direct control over who could get into the building, and visitors unfamiliar with RES didn't always know where to go.

"It's inconvenient for parents that are unacquainted with our building, and visitors," Idstrom said. "It's clearly not the most secure entry when the visitor is accountable for checking in."

Since the Newtown shooting the school has stationed someone at the entrance to direct visitors, but Idstrom doesn't see that as a long-term solution. He'd like to install some new doors at another of the school's front entrances that would force visitors to go through the office when they come into the building.

The project, which will cost an estimated $10,000, will solve a couple of problems at RES. Security is the big one, but the entrance Idstrom would like to turn into the school's main doors is also the one most visitors gravitate toward anyway. With the overhang that juts out above the doors, it looks more like the school's entrance, to the point there are signs in front of it directing visitors to the other door.

Idstrom has already gotten bids for the project, which also includes some other security measures. Now, he just needs to find a way to pay for it.

RES will launch an online giving campaign this week to ask parents to pay for part of the project. If the school gets enough donations to pay for half of the work the school will cover the other half.

Idstrom hopes to have the work done by the end of February.