School Security Measures Highlight of Summer Maintenance Work

It was a minor note on the School Committee agenda on Monday night.

However, the net result may be one of the more significant decisions made about the Everett Schools for the coming school year and beyond.

As part of an overarching Summer Maintenance Update, the School Committee voted unanimously Monday night to approve a total of 14 maintenance projects throughout all of Everett’s schools over the coming summer season. The first item on that list is a $180,000 upgrade to intercoms and surveillance cameras at all of Everett’s school buildings and is designed to help the school district make its students safer and give police and school officials more information about who is trying to gain access to their buildings.

“With the start of the new fiscal year, now is the time to (undertake) this kind of project,” said Superintendent Frederick Foresteire following the meeting Monday night. “It’s an expensive project and one that will take time and with the start of the fiscal year and the summer schedule, doing this now is the most responsible thing we can do.”

Foresteire said that he feels strongly that in light of recent school shootings, including last December’s deadly tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, the school department cannot take the chance that something could happen locally.

Just as importantly, he noted the dozens of other less tragic but more likely scenarios that can be stopped or even mitigated by the addition of state of the art high-definition video cameras and new intercoms in all of the district’s buildings.

“The plan is to have all of these systems up and running in all of our schools before the start of the 2013-14 school year in September,” added Foresteire.

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