Jan 12, 2021 9:09 PM

USD 489 board gives OK to secure entrance, new office at Wilson

Posted Jan 12, 2021 9:09 PM
Wilson Elementary School entrance options
Wilson Elementary School entrance options

Hays Post

The Hays school board gave the go ahead to a project to build a new secure entrance and office at Wilson Elementary School.

The entrance/office will include an addition that will be about 900 square feet. The project is entering the design phase, but is estimated to cost the district $500,000.

Superintendent Ron Wilson reviewed three options for the entrance with the board Monday night. 

The first option would be to install an Aiphone at school's entrance and two new doors in the corridor outside of the current office at a cost of $30,000 to $50,000. 

However, students move through that corridor throughout the day, which means the new doors what not necessarily create a secure entrance, Wilson said.

The second option would involve renovating existing space at the school for a secure entrance. This would mean losing part of the school's music room and a conference room, which is not preferred for a school that is already tight on space, Wilson said.

That option could cost between $100,000 and $200,000.

The final option would be to build a small addition onto school. This would include a new, larger office and the secure entrance.

This option is estimated to cost $400,000 to $500,000.

The current office space at Wilson is very small. The office only has one door, which makes getting people in and out of the small space difficult.

Principal Anita Scheve said the former office could be used for specialists who are sharing office space and are providing services in classrooms that are temporarily empty throughout the day.

"It is still not a lot of space, but in a building that is tight on space anyway, it's a better option than taking space," Scheve said.

Wilson said the project has been needed or a long time and would be a welcomed addition at Wilson. He said the district has funds available in the capital budget this year to complete the project.

Board President Mike Walker said,"The questions I always ask are 'Do we need it?' Yes, we do. 'And can we afford it?' You just said we can."

A secure entrance is also scheduled to be completed at O'Loughlin Elementary School this summer. That project is currently out for bids. The estimated cost for that project is $60,000.

Wilson and O'Loughlin will be the last schools in the district to receive secure entrances.

"It is a well-needed project," board member Craig Pallister said of the Wilson entrance. "I was just so concerned that all of our buildings should have this secure entrance. I appreciate you finding a way to do all of the schools and get this completed by this summer."