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Port Arthur ISD tightening up security
PORT ARTHUR-By: Leslie Rangel
Planning has been ongoing for a few years now and this school year, Port Arthur ISD security updgrades will finally be complete.
Thomas Jefferson Middle School, Dowling Elementary and the Memorial Ninth Grade Academy have all undergone a small facelift, not for looks, but for safety.
Only a few days before the start of the year and this school office is wide open.
"The first thing I noticed was the office, I didn't see the doors and I was wondering what happened to the doors and stuff," Fralena McCrey, a Memorial High School parent said.
New doors are just one change designed to keep out indtruders.
"Here at Memorial 9th, we're installing glass door sytem, we got glass panels over the reception area," Mark Rouly, the compliance manager for PAISD says.
The glass will close in the office, preventing anyone from jumping over the counter.
"It makes me feel comfortable while I'm at work I don't have to worry about the safety of my son," McCrey says.
It doesn't stop here.
"Same way at several schools, we have updated our camera system, we have updated our alarm system," Rouly said.
This year, 3 schools in the district received security upgrades including a camera here at Dowling Elementary.
Although it won't guarantee keeping an intruder out, it does give parents and teachers peace of mind.
"No matter how good you lock a building, they're going to find a way to come in but we do our best, if they're going to try, they're going to have a hard time," Rouly says.
It's a redsign of an old school to stay current with a changing world.
"It's too many bad things happening and people you never know what's on their mind, to come in school and do things like that, it's terrible, but for something like that to come about with the security, I'm safe, I'm comforatble," McCrey said.
School adminstrators want to remind staff, if they see anyone they don't recognize on campus, don't assume they're new.
Make eye contact and ask them if they need help.