STAMFORD, Vt. -- Town officials are taking steps to increase safety at Stamford Elementary School following the Newtown, Conn. school shooting.
Cynthia Lamore, chairman of the school board, said officials have reached an "amicable resolution" regarding a concern about building security, and the discussion on building safety will be ongoing.
At issue is how someone could potentially access the school when the library is open to the public, since both share one building with the town hall. Security measures were in place long before the Newtown school shooting -- the main doors to the school were locked when classes were in session, and visitors were required to go to the principal's office to access the building.
But in past months, officials have expressed concern that someone could potentially have access to the whole building if they entered through an unlocked door separating the community library and the school.
Lamore said a resolution was reached at a Feb. 14 meeting between library trustees, school board members and selectmen.
"After having several safety experts visit the school, and a security audit by the Vermont School Board Association and the public building inspector, they decided it was within building code for that door to be locked during the daytime," she said.
The librarian and principal will hold a key to the door separating the library and the school, Lamore said. The library will have hours
Lamore said along with ensuring student safety, officials want to continue student use of the library.
"We want continuity in their education," she said. "And we don't want them to be afraid to come to school. We want them to feel secure."
Lamore also stressed the topic of school security is an ongoing discussion.
"Fixing one door isn't where we'd stop anyway," Lamore said. "The overall safety of children in the building is important. This was the fastest way to have a little peace of mind."
In addition to the immediate security measure, voters will be asked to approve funding for improvements during town meeting on Monday, March 4. A warrant article asking residents to approve the library's $25,525 operating budget will also ask residents: "What sum shall the town of Stamford appropriate for security improvements in the library portion of the building?"
Select Board Chair Christopher Dargie said he is happy with the solution for now, but stressed that he and the select board will continue to work with the school board and library trustees in the future.
"We want to make sure the kids are safe. That is our number one priority," he said.
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