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Adams-Cheshire Improving School Building Security

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Adams-Cheshire Regional School District plans to undergo a security overhaul.
School Committee member Michael Mucci told the committee Monday that the district will make some substantial security upgrades before the close of the year through grant funds.  
"I was glad to see that we are right there now and we will do that final work in the next few months," he said. "But it is a nice upgrade for both buildings for a little more peace of mind."
The district received a $50,000 Safe School Grant this past summer.
Superintendent Aaron Dean went over some of the proposed upgrades and said more access points will be installed at the high school and a "lockbox" system will be implemented that will better manage school access.
"What this lockbox will do if someone gets through that first section of doors, we can keep them in that area if we have to call emergency personnel," Dean said.
He said it will also allow building administrators more control over people signing in and out of the building. He said drop-offs and deliveries could happen in this area.
There is also a plan to re-key much of the building and better manage keys given out.
"There are keys everywhere, from coaches to former employees," he said. "We have to do something to make the parameter more secure."
Where possible, more swipe card systems will be installed instead of physical keys. These can be monitored and programmed.
Dean said he did not see a need for anyone except for administration and maintenance to have manual exterior keys that work during even closed hours.
Security camera improvements will also be made.
Dean said much of these same improvements will be made at Hoosac Valley Elementary School.
The grant money has to be spent before the end of the year, which he said they are on target to do.
In other business, Mucci said the Maintenance Subcommittee met with Adams town officials before the meeting to go over building needs and projects.
"We went over a lot of things and had an overall productive meeting," he said.
He said many of the smaller projects at the elementary and high school have been completed and the district is working with the town to create a gutter repair project at the elementary school before snowfall.
He added that the town has retained the services of EDM architects that will do a comprehensive building analysis with hopes to release a bid package in spring 2020 to spend down the remaining funds the town allocated to make repairs to Hoosac Valley Elementary School.

Tags: ACRSD,   HVRSD,   school security,   

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Cheshire Selectmen Trying to Set Consistent Hiring Process

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Correspondent
CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen started to nail down the town's municipal hiring process at Tuesday's meeting. 
There had been a slight delay in the process as Chairman Robert Ciskowski had missed the previous two meetings and the board wanted to wait for his input.
The town was hit with an Open Meeting Law complaint in its hiring process of new Highway Department Superintendent Bob Navin and was threatened with another in the recent hiring of another Highway Department employee. The second complaint was never made as the interview process was deemed acceptable legally but the board felt the process lacked clarity and communication between themselves and Town Administrator Edmund St. John IV.
Ciskowski was clear about what he felt was within St. John's purview.
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