Security upgrade at Prairie View School
BY DONNA VICKROY firstname.lastname@example.org August 15, 2014 5:40PM
Principal Kristine Roth stands in the new main office at Prairie View Middle School, which underwent several renovations over the summer. | Donna Vickroy/Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 18, 2014 6:41AM
When students head back to Prairie View Middle School in Tinley Park on Wednesday, they will be greeted by a host of changes — starting at the main entrance.
A magnetic lockdown security door, increasingly becoming the industry standard, has been added for visitors.
Kirby District 140 Supt. Michael Byrne said the change brings Prairie View, 8500 W. 175th St., in line with the other schools in the district.
“Before, all of the doors opened onto the main hallway, giving visitors access to the whole building in any direction,” Byrne said. “This was the only school that didn’t have a barrier at the front door.”
Under close supervision, students will still enter each morning through all of the doors that face 175th Street, but once school has begun all of the doors will be locked. Visitors will need to be buzzed through a double door to gain access to only the main office, Byrne said.
The new system also enables staff to segment the building during extracurricular events, Prairie View Principal Kristine Roth said. In addition, the main office has been moved to right off the new security door, with a staff work area and the nurse’s office now attached to the main office.
“We looked at the primary reasons the community comes in — to see the nurse, drop off items and see administration,” Roth said. “That’s why we put all of those pieces upfront. It increases functionality.”
Students will still be able to access office staff through a sliding glass door that opens onto the main hallway, she said.
The added security — along with an overhauled heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, new doors at another entrance and new color-coded carpeting — cost about $6 million, Byrne said. During construction, the school staff worked at Fernway School.
Colorful stripes have been added on the new carpet to help students and visitors know where they are in the school. The administration area is yellow, the sixth-grade hall orange, while seventh grade is now purple and eighth grade is blue.