The first of the eight objectives that guided our Blueprint 181 comprehensive long-range facilities plan was safe and secure entrances. As director of Buildings and Grounds for our 12 Brainerd Public Schools, I have spent the last several months since voters approved Blueprint 181 planning and installing equipment that will better allow staff in school buildings to control our entrances.
If you have visited our schools recently, you may have already noticed some changes in how you enter Brainerd High School, Forestview Middle School, Brainerd Learning Center, Lincoln Education Center and Garfield, Harrison and Lowell elementary schools. They are implementing systems much like the ones already in place at Riverside and Baxter elementary schools. Similar changes are also coming soon to our remaining buildings.
The idea is that during the school day the doors to each building will be locked and anyone entering will be directed to the main entrance where they will be required to request access through an intercom mounted near the doors. Office staff will be able to see and talk with visitors through the intercoms to greet them and ask the nature of their visit before buzzing them into the building. All visitors will then report to the main office to check in before arriving at their destination in the school.
We understand that these are big changes to our school buildings and that change is not always easy or convenient. However, the safety of our students, staff and visitors to our school is always our first priority. I am pleased to have these new systems to help us increase security at our school buildings. We ask for and appreciate your patience as we implement these changes to our safety procedures.
Earl Wolleat is Brainerd Public Schools director of Buildings & Grounds