Parents and other visitors to Denair High – or anyone driving by the school on Lester Road – will notice a big change taking place on campus. Security fencing is being added around the front of the campus.
It’s a project that has been much discussed for many years, explained Superintendent Terry Metzger, who said protecting students, staff and school property is the primary objective.
“DHS’s campus is by far our most open and accessible campus,” Metzger said. “We love this for the community feel, but it poses some significant security concerns. Specifically, the lack of fencing at the perimeter of the school means that people have easy access to the school during the weekends and evenings, and we’ve seen some vandalism and theft as a result.”
The first part of the two-phase project is expected to be completed by the end of the month. It involves repurposing some existing wrought-iron fencing that surrounded the amphitheater in the interior of the campus. Members of the school district’s maintenance staff removed the fencing and the district hired Denair Fencing, Inc. to install the new posts and security gates.
“That interior fencing wasn’t really providing security and relocating it is allowing us to open up the quad area in the center of the campus, which is better for our growing enrollment,” Metzger said.
The result will be a fence around the perimeter of the campus beginning at the south parking lot near the stadium and gym and continuing around the main office and classrooms adjacent to the north parking lot. All visitors to campus will be funneled through the main office, where they must sign in before being allowed go any further.
The security gates will be opened to allow students and staff to enter campus before classes begin at 8:30 a.m., locked throughout the day and then re-opened when school is over in mid-afternoon.
The second phase of the project – expected to begin and be completed next spring – will extend the security fencing around the back side of the campus, where the ag classrooms and shop areas are located.