DENVILLE, NJ – Denville Superintendent of Schools Steven Forte announced the near completion of the construction of security vestibules in Lakeview Elementary School, Riverview Elementary School and Valleyview Middle School. Construction is slated for completion next month. Forte made the announcement on Nov. 26 during a school safety and security presentation with Denville Chief of Police Christopher Wagner at the Denville Township Board of Education meeting.  

Approved by the Denville Police Department, New Jersey Department of Education, Morris County Office of Emergency Management, and Security Committee of the Board of Education, the vestibules will provide an additional security check to enter the schools, streamline the visitor sign-in process, and keep an accurate record of individuals entering the buildings. A visitor will be buzzed first into the vestibule after he or she states his or her name and the purpose of the visit. Thereafter, to enter the school from the vestibule, the visitor must have a state-issued identification card, which gets scanned by a LobbyGuard kiosk. If approved, the device will issue a visitor pass and allow entry to the school. LobbyGuard runs background checks on everyone who attempts to sign in to the school and is connected to a national public database that maintains a list of sex offenders and criminals. If a visitor’s name appears on the national registry, he or she will be denied access to the school. If a visitor does not have a state-issued identification card, he or she likewise will be barred entry.

“The purpose for most school visits is to drop off something like lunch,” offered Michael Andersen, president of the Denville Township Board of Education. Consequently, a suitably transparent drop-off bin housed in the vestibule is being considered that would allow a barred visitor to leave the item. For non-drop-off situations where a parent or authorized adult has forgotten or lost his or her state-issued ID, the barred visitor will remain in the vestibule, and the student or a staff member will meet the individual at the vestibule.

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Throughout their school safety and security presentation, Wagner and Forte emphasized the importance of keeping the school doors locked. To that end, “The security vestibules decrease the number of times the doors are opened,” Forte affirmed.

Designed by EI Associates of Cedar Knolls, New Jersey, the vestibules are being constructed by Pal-Pro Builders, which is based in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. The aggregate cost of the project is $400,000. Originally scheduled for completion in September, the project has been delayed until December because the security doors recommended by the architects are out of stock, and Forte declined any substitution of lesser quality.

 

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