Western Community Unit School District plans to upgrade security

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A Tri-State school district is trying to make its school more safe for your kids. Western schools in Barry, Illinois, is upgrading security and more work is on the way.

Colton Main is a senior at Western High School, who said the new security upgrades make for a more comfortable feeling in the classroom.

“It’s easier on us when we don’t have to worry about somebody being able to get into the door or just being able to walk in anymore,” Main said. “We’re safe.”

The Western Community Unit School District put lock systems on many of the doors inside the high school and elementary school about a year ago– something teachers said has made a difference.

“That’s our number one priority, that they’re learning and they’re learning safely and we want them to know, as soon as they enter school that it’s a safe environment and they can be comfortable and the door locks help us with that,” 4th Grade Teacher Sarah Hillijoss said.

Every teacher in the classroom has a key card that will give them access into each classroom. Superintendent Jessica Funk said that these have worked out so well inside, that they’re actually adding more.

“With the door system, we are adding a few more exterior access points,” Funk said. “We are always looking for ways to continue to make things safer and protect us through any situation that might come up.”

They’re not stopping there– as they also just put in an intercom system.

“Every time there’s an announcement from the office, or anything we need to be alerted of immediately, they come over the intercom and it’s for the whole school and we can automatically hear it,” Hillijoss said.

They hope to have a lock system on every door in the school and on the additional exterior doors by winter break. The district also plans to make these improvements to the junior high when they find the funding.

The current security system cost $160,000, while the intercom system cost about $25,000 and both were paid for with state grant money.


Kara Biernat

Kara Biernat

Kara Biernat is a MultiMedia Journalist for WGEM News.

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