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Aug 3, 2018 4:23 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

East Quogue School Makes Improvements To Help Secure Building Entrance

Glen Coon, a junior with Rocky Point-based Renu Contracting, works on installing the double doors in the school's main lobby. VALERIE GORDON
Aug 7, 2018 1:21 PM

The East Quogue Elementary School will boast a new main entrance in September with tougher security measures in place.

Crews from Renu Contracting in Rocky Point began reconfiguring the main lobby this week with the installation of a security vestibule, estimated to cost in the neighborhood of $25,000, that will require visitors to be buzzed into the school two times.

The added security was originally included in the district’s $8.4 million renovation plan for the school—approved by taxpayers in May and scheduled to be complete in 2020—but district officials opted to cover the cost in the 2018-19 budget instead.

“We jumped out ahead because we didn’t want to wait to enhance the security and safety in the building,” Superintendent of Schools Robert Long said on Friday. “It’s prioritization, and we’ve identified security as our top priority.”

Once complete, the vestibule will feature two sets of self-locking double doors. Visitors will be required to check in with one of the district’s three part-time security guards, who will screen the driver’s licenses of all visitors against a registered sex offender database using the Raptor Visitor Management System, a computer scanning system by Raptor Technologies out of Houston, Texas, which was installed last year. Once they receive clearance, visitors will be buzzed through the second set of double doors.

The doors will not prevent students or staff from exiting the building in the case of an emergency, according to Glen Coon, a junior with Renu, who on Friday began installing the security doors.

Presently, one of the district’s security guards is always stationed at a desk near the entrance, and that individual directs visitors to the main office. But, in a previous interview, Tom Agoglia, one of the part-time guards, said some visitors can bypass security if the guard is distracted or if there is a lot of activity.

Starting in September, the security desk will be stationed between the two sets of double doors, preventing anyone from entering the school without being checked in.

Next summer, the Central Avenue school’s security will be enhanced even further with a security window separating the lobby from the guard station, as well as reconfiguring nearby classrooms and the administration offices. Those additions, which are estimated to cost $75,000, will be funded with the $8.4 million bond, according to Board of Education President Christopher Hudson.

“There’s still significant work to be done that the bond will address,” Mr. Long said. “I’m very pleased. I think the community will be very receptive.”

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