New safety, security features at CRES
CROSBY - A safer, more secure layout will welcome back staff and students of Cuyuna Range Elementary School (CRES) in Crosby. Over the summer, the school underwent a revamp inside and out. The $1.3 million project started June 11 and is on schedu...
CROSBY - A safer, more secure layout will welcome back staff and students of Cuyuna Range Elementary School (CRES) in Crosby.
Over the summer, the school underwent a revamp inside and out.
The $1.3 million project started June 11 and is on schedule to finish before school begins, said CRES principal Kurt Becker.
The district decided to go with the changes in order to be proactive, instead of reactive, Becker said.
"It makes sense with (security incidents) happening in other schools to look at the design and layout of CRES and see how we could make it a more secure place," he said. "We don't want to wait for something to happen before we make these changes."
The biggest security improvement comes with the main office. It's now moved closer to the doors, so in order to get inside the building, visitors will have to stop in the office.
That way, office staff will have more control of who enters the building.
Visitors will have more restricted access, while the staff and students inside will have more freedom to move around the building than they did before.
Parallel to the security change will come newly remodeled kindergarten classrooms, designed to eliminate noisy distractions from the hallway.
The rooms will be moved to where the first-grade rooms now sit, and will be re-designed into an enclosed setting, a step away from the open-pod concept used now. Each room will have its own restroom.
"It's more conducive to a better learning environment," Becker said.
The pod system was a "fad" for a while but many schools are moving away from that layout as it proved distracting and noisy when classes walked through the hallways, he said.
The existing kindergarten wing will be reused for programing for families with preschool age children.
All that's left to complete inside is some carpeting, adding a few doors and some ceiling work.
"It's coming along," Becker said. "You wouldn't think so walking through, but it is."
With security taken care of on the inside, safety needed to be addressed outside.
The parking lot and drop-off zone have been redesigned so youngsters aren't running across traffic to reach their parents' car.
The parking lot was split into specific areas for parking and a dedicated drop-off/pick-up zone. There will be an area where cars will not be backing up in order to increase safety.
"All it takes is one accident," Becker said. "We realized the fix needed to be made. We're being proactive."
Most of the project, $1.2 million, was funded with money from the IRRRB taconite grant. The rest will be taken out of a fund that is reserved for capital improvement projects.