WALLA WALLA, Washington – Starting Monday, the front doors of five campuses will be locked during instructional hours until dismissal. The new visitor entry systems were installed at Berney Elementary, Edison Elementary, Green Park Elementary, Sharpstein Elementary and Garrison Middle School this summer as part of the bond program to improve district safety and security.
“These new access control systems will keep the front doors of schools locked while school is in session to help prevent unauthorized visitors from entering the building,” district spokesman Mark Higgins wrote in a news release.
Higgins explained all visitors must enter the school using the new visitor entry system and that using the system is easy.
Visitors will press the intercom button next to the front door and school staff will respond. Visitors will be asked to confirm their identity and purpose for visit. The front doors will be unlocked by school staff, allowing visitors to enter through the main entry. Guests will continue to sign in and sign out of the main office as part of the usual visitor procedures.
“Safety was a top priority of voters in the successful bond election and these improvements to our visitor procedures will greatly improve security,” Facilities and Operations Director Mike Kay said. “This is the first phase of our safety and security program. Eventually all doors at these schools will be equipped with swipe card devices to further promote campus safety. Next summer we will complete the improvements at Blue Ridge and Prospect Point. Pioneer Middle School, Lincoln High School and Walla Walla High School will be phased in as part of their major renovations.”