As school safety across the nation has been an area of emphasis, especially this past year, Uinta County School District #1 has been working to update, improve, and, create safer school facilities for all students and staff. With this is mind, the district has been focusing on three areas to improve and update the security of our facilities. These areas include:
Security Vestibules: The district determined that a top priority was controlling and monitoring public access to our school buildings during school hours. Remodeling the vestibules of each school to increase security by controlling the traffic flow and public assess during the school day. The goal was to have the vestibules remodeled as early as summer 2018.
In September of 2017, to district began phase I or remodeling the vestibules. Phase I included security vestibules in three schools: Evanston High School, Davis Middle School, and Uinta Meadows Elementary. Working with the State Facility Department (SFD), it was determined to contract with PlanOne a firm from Rock Springs to develop the plans for the remodel. PlanOne spent considerable time during the fall of 2017 working with district and school personnel to create architectural drawings that met the needs of each school. Architectural drafts were submitted for review in October and again in February, with final plans drawn up in March. In April, a proposal to bid was placed in the Uinta County Herald, the Salt Lake Tribune, and on the SFD website where contractors from across the nation can access the plans through what are called “plan rooms”.
On May 10, the district had a pre-bid (mandator) walk-through for contractors for this project and only one general contractor and one local subcontractor attended. Due to the low numbers at the walk-through and in a hope of encouraging participation from the local contractor, it was determined to extend the bid opening ten days until May 23rd.
On Monday, May 14th, the district received notice that the only general contractor attending the walk-through would not be bidding on phase I due to the contractor’s current work commitments and previously scheduled contracts. Without a general contractor phase I of the security vestibule project will not be completed the summer as planned.
In the fall of 2018, the district will re-bid phase I in hopes of securing a general contractor that will have an open schedule in the winter months of the 2018-19 school year to complete the security vestibule remodels. Completing the security vestibule work would be best completed in the summer months, but that is prime time for contractors and projects. The security vestibules would be a good winter project for a local contractor even though it will be more distracting for the school district.
Uniformed Access Control System- Currently, the district is using three different systems to control access for entering the buildings. The district spent the summer and early fall of 2017 assessing the needs and concerns related to the current access system and determined areas that would need addressed as well as providing an option for individuals in the building to lock down all doors in a building. The district has had three different companies come and take a look at each site and determine the next steps in putting together a bid for work to be completed during the summer of the 2018.
Security Cameras- Since the fall of 2016 much work has been done in updating and adding cameras throughout the district. Currently, all cameras on the inside of Davis, Uinta Meadows, Aspen, and EHS have been changed. Last summer cameras were added to the inside of Horizon. We are currently working with two different companies to get us a bid to complete the outside cameras at both EHS and Davis during the summer of 2018. Although the state provided cameras on the outside of Evanston Middle School, funding wasn’t provided for cameras inside the building. This will also be addressed during the summer of 2018. Clark Elementary will need to be rewired and all cameras replaced which is also scheduled to be completed the summer of 2018. Cameras will also need to be added at the central administrative offices, transportation, and facilities and warehouse buildings.
As a district we are highly committed to providing the safest place of learning for all students and staff and will continue to do what we can to further these three initiatives.