Elkins, Arkansas -
ELKINS, AR (KNWA) - It's a small school district making big changes for safety.
The Elkins school board recently approved 400-thousand dollars worth of security upgrades and building renovations.
A dozen construction projects are happening in the Elkins school district this Summer.
In previous years, a person could simply walk through the front doors, and into a classroom. Soon with new construction, that will change.
"Just inside the building, the vestibules if you will, there will be additional store front type entries so that once you come inside the outside doors, you have to have permission, electronic permission to go anywhere else in the building," Elkins Superintendent Dan Jordan said.
The new high school already has the safety feature, and the primary, elementary and middle schools will soon have it too.
"I just felt it was a priority that we get the other three campuses secure so that we can feel comfortable everyday," Jordan said.
The main changes will be for visitors. They cannot gain access without permission from the front office, a standard procedure in most schools.
"The student population will be able to enter the doors just as they would any other school day, they'll just have two sets of doors to enter, rather than the one that they left in May."
Another new feature, eight security cameras in each school.
It's a level of safety Jordan wanted to bring to the district when he signed on last year.
"We need to be proactive. We've been very, very fortunate in Elkins School District with some of the issues that we hear of in other places. We know that we've been very fortunate, but I just feel we need to be proactive and have these in place," he said.
The construction will begin as soon as possible, and is expected to be ready by the start of school Aug. 18.
"I'm anxious to get the building behind us so we can go forth with educating the students here."