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School getting bullet-proof lobby

By LAUREN LEA

SAN ANTONIO - This Saturday marks the anniversary of the Newtown, Connecticut shooting, where a gunman killed 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. That tragedy has had a ripple effect on schools across the country, including in San Antonio. The newest elementary school in the largest district in San Antonio will have a security measure like no other in Northside Independent School District. Anyone entering Ellison Elementary will have to go through a lobby that's bullet-proof.

"People would go through an outer lobby, present their credentials, and then get buzzed in. There would be no general entry into the school during the school day," explained district spokesperson Pascual Gonzalez.

The school, set to open August 2014, is still under construction and the secure lobby is being built because of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last year.  One day, you could see lobbies just like it across the district.

"We have a responsibility to ensure we provide the adequate protection for our kids. We feel strongly this initiative, these security lobbies are the next level of protection for the kids," said Assistant Superintendent of Facilities Leroy San Miguel.

Most proposals from the citizens' bond committee presented Thursday night include secure lobbies at up to 30 elementary schools in the 2014 bond package. The committee was divided into six groups, which prioritized items in a lengthy list of possible renovations or additions to the district.

"I think it's something that needs to be added maybe on a trial basis to see how it works, maybe not all at one time," said Ed Griffith.

In the last year, NISD has gotten a K9 officer named Alice, and hired seven new police officers. The 2010 bond included surveillance cameras at all elementary schools, which were in place for the 2013-2014 school year.

The price tag for the six different bond proposals ranged from $599- to $660-million. The school board could narrow it all down to one proposal and approve it next month.
 

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