FAIRFIELD, NJ -- The Fairfield Board of Education discussed security measures for both Churchill School and Stevenson School at its public meeting Monday night.
The primary point of contentions was the installation of 3M tinted window security film on all uncovered windows in both elementary schools (Churchill and Stevenson have the film on front entrance windows). Ostensibly, the film will provide extra protection for those inside the building from inclement weather, glass shards and forced intrusion. It will also have energy-saving benefits, according to members of the board.
The initial motion to award a purchase order to Window Film Depot failed to pass. Board Vice-President Brian Egan and member Tom Patierno submitted “yes” votes. Board President Stacy Aschenbach and member Pat Freda submitted “no” votes. Board member Andrea Jandoli abstained.
A motion for discussion prompted members to share their views.
“Having talked with various people in the security industry, the consensus seems to be that [tinted window film] doesn’t really do anything,” Ashenbach said. “The assessment was that it is a ‘waste of money.’”
Freda advised the board to consider other alternatives to the tinted window film.
“I would like to see us invest in other security measures, like the double vestibule at each building entrance,” he said.
Noting that the measure for the security film had already been built into the 2014-15 operating budget, Egan supported the measure on cost and security grounds.
“It just makes sense,” he said.
Patierno added that the energy-saving impact of the windows was a good reason for its implementation.
District Business Administrator Bill Stepka also assured the board that other security measures; the aforementioned double vestibule, a surveillance canopy and facial recognition software, would be built into next year’s operating budget as planned.
After the discussion, both Freda and Jandoli changed their votes to “yes.” The motion passed with Aschenbach as the sole dissenter.