Construction at Media Elementary School has begun, Assistant Superintendent Steve Taylor announced at the Rose Tree Media Board of School Directors meeting on Thursday.
In and the students and staff relocated to the former Nativity BVM School for this school year while construction is being done.
The installation of steel to replace the wooden trusses at the elementary school is currently taking place. The plan is for construction to be completed by the start of the 2013-2014 school year.
District Security Concerns in the Wake of Sandy Hook
In separate district news, Taylor also addressed security in the school district following the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT.
"I want to assure you the safety of our students is always a high priority in Rose Tree Media,” Taylor said.
He went on to say that buildings are not open to the public during the day, visitors need to be let into the building by a staff member and visitors need to register in the office once inside.
There are emergency and crisis plans in place in every building and students practice a variety of safety drills. Taylor also said that local law enforcement conducts periodic threat assessments, and that there is an increased police presence at the schools.
Janet Lis, of Upper Providence, addressed concerns about school safety during public comment. She asked about security at Penncrest High School, saying that visitors to other schools in the district need to be buzzed in, but Penncrest does not have a buzzer system.
Taylor addressed this question, saying that Penncrest has more security personnel and that while the entrance is not locked, someone is stationed at the door. He also said that Penncrest has a walkie-talkie system in place and unlike other schools in the district, Penncrest has security cameras.
Lis also expressed concern that many of these measures address the situation once a visitor is in the school but do not provide a process for visitors to go through before entering the building. Taylor said that the State Police are doing periodic threat assessments and that will be looked at.