Some Minneapolis Schools Get Security Upgrades Over Summer Break

August 30, 2018 06:19 PM

Students returning to class in Minneapolis are being greeted with new security put in place in some buildings over the summer.

Patrick Henry High School is one of them. A red roofline protruding from the nearly 100-year-old school was built in the name of security.


Principal Yusuf Abdullah says the new space funnels people right into the office when school is in session to check in before they're allowed into the building.

RELATED: More Than 600 Districts Apply for School Safety Grant, Requesting More Funding Than Available

Six months ago, a scare about a gunman in the school just after classes ended for the day prompted a lockdown and police searches.

There are new high definition cameras and key cards that will replace actual keys.

"We're also looking at getting a buzzer, so that we can have this area perhaps locked," said Abdullah.

At Elizabeth Hall Elementary, a separate locked entrance has been built away from the front doors that now brings visitors to a keypad to ask permission to enter the office.    

"With any project, any major construction footprint starts we are going to change the entrance," said Jason Matlock, the director of emergency management, safety and security. 

He said these projects can cost millions.

"You're running cable, conduit, a lot of construction material to put something in that was never meant to be there when they first designed the building," Matlock said. 

RELATED: Minneapolis Public School Students Kick Off New School Year

But he says it's money worth investing.

"Everyone worries about active shooter, active assailant, we are designing buildings for everything," he said.

Matlock did say all of the security upgrades will do nothing unless you have people, teachers and staff knowing students and monitoring activity. 

The district submitted applications to the Minnesota Department of Education to be in the running for some of the $25 million in security grant money approved by the Legislature in 2018.  

Schools will find out if they will receive any money on Sept. 28, 2018.


Jessica Miles

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