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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 Still Seeking Right Fiscal Equation For Elementary School

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Correspondent

The Selectmen have hoped to use the former school as a revenue generator. 
CHESHIRE, Mass. — When the Cheshire Elementary School was closed two years ago, the only silver lining to be found was the potential revenue source it might provide to the town through leasing the space privately. 
The Board of Selectmen are still working hard to figure out a formula that works.
Tuesday night's meeting was a good example as the board weighed the cost of temporary heating upgrades for the cafeteria versus rent the town receives from tenants. The upgrades would essentially serve one tenant that holds fitness classes in the west wing of the building. The school currently has three lessees: Youth Center Inc., the school district administration, and Berkshire Body.
"Electric heaters look to be the safest and most cost effective means to provide heating for the space," said Town Administrator Edmund St. John III. "We estimate the cost of the installation will be somewhere around $3,500." 
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