Better security one reason for bond support | Guest column

The following is written by Matt Rumbaugh:

Our children spend a significant amount of time each day in our school buildings. As such, we should strive to create facilities that foster both a welcoming presence and a sense of safety and security.

One of the major goals of rebuilding Enumclaw High School and Black Diamond Elementary is to improve safety and security. Schools designed decades ago did not consider student safety the way we do today.

The most frequently-cited reference for best practices in the design of safer school facilities are the principles identified through CPTED (Crime Prevention through Environmental Design). These principles include:

1. Natural Surveillance – using physical features to avoid blind spots and increase visibility so intruders are more readily observable.

2. Territorial Rein-forcement – using physical barriers to express ownership and distinguish between public and private areas.

3. Access Control – strategic location of points of entry and fencing.

4. Target Hardening – use of features that prevent entry or accessibility.

Through rebuilding and renovating Enumclaw High School and Black Diamond Elementary as proposed in the Enumclaw School District bond, improvement in all four of the CPTED categories will occur.

Enumclaw High School consists of multiple buildings requiring students to circulate outside between buildings. A rebuilt school will be one connected building with limited entries to improve natural surveillance and access control. Outdoor courtyards at both schools will be enclosed with buildings and/or fencing. The new schools will have security systems at the main entrance to insure visitors check in at the office.

There is no way to eliminate uncertainty in our children’s lives, but we can be certain of this: our children deserve schools designed with safety and security in mind.