School board president endorses bond proposal.

April 30, 2019

Letter to the Editor: School board president endorses bond proposal.

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Dear Editor:

It is easy sometimes, living in a small rural community like Ludington, to just shut off the news about the latest tragedy unfolding somewhere else in the world. The reality is though, we live in a world where school safety has become part of the national conversation and should also be part of our local conversation.

Improving safety is a big part of the bond proposal that will be on the May 7 ballot. Ludington Area School District has engaged GMB Architecture + Engineering to act as a designer and advisor to incorporate safety throughout the buildings and school grounds.

A big component of this proposal is designing single secure points of entry into the buildings, improved classroom door locking and classroom design that minimizes the possibility of forced entry, monitoring and electronic access controls incorporated throughout all buildings, and modern addressable fire alarm and suppression systems. These improvements utilize the very best thinking about school safety and are just some of the many security features that will be built in to the project.

But best practices in school safety design mean moving beyond locked doors and security cameras. Engaging an architectural and engineering firm with K-12 specific design expertise has helped the planning team understand how other areas in and around the school need to be designed with safety in mind. For instance, parking lots can be designed to keep students safe by separating bus traffic from car traffic, and separating walking or biking routes from vehicular routes.

Safe school design also involves incorporating safety on athletic fields and grounds. The bond proposal includes upgrades to fields, making them safer for student-athletes. The proposal includes modern design and age-appropriate equipment in playgrounds while also providing enough open space to allow kids to run and play.

Keeping our kids safe should be a community-wide priority. If students feel safe in their environment, they will be more ready to learn and reach their fullest potential. I would encourage you to consider the improvements in school safety when you place your vote on May 7.

Steve Carlson

Board President, LASD

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