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Extra locks added to Papillion-La Vista elementary schools

Posted at 4:01 PM, Sep 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-10 17:01:38-04

Visitors to several Papillion - La Vista elementary schools will now need to go through one extra step to get access into the building. 

When the district hosted discussion on their proposed bond issue ahead of the May vote, Superintendent Andy Rikli says one topic was on the forefront of parents minds. 

"The things we heard over and over from our community and from our parents was that we want to make sure our students and our staff is safe," says Rikli. 

The security measures were added to the bond campaign which overwhelmingly passed, today a second set of locks were added in five elementary schools.

"It gives me peace of mind knowing that they took extra security measures to keep all of our students safe, says parent Sarah Skaggs.

Now any visitor needs to first be buzzed via an intercom, before entering a vestibule where an office assistant unlocks a second door. 

Westside and Millard Public Schools have similar security measures in place and Bellevue plans to add the extra locks in the next three years. Omaha and Council Bluffs Public Schools has one set of locks but says visitors must be positively identified before getting buzzed in. 

Papillion - La Vista schools plan on adding locks to the rest of the elementary schools soon, with the two high schools set to get them upon completion of their major renovation projects. At the middle schools, visitors are already forced to go directly into the office before entering the school.

"It's a huge deal for five of our elementary buildings that it's one more step to protect our students and staff and to make sure the people that come into our building are the people that we want in the building," says Rikli. 

The district will add classrooms at the two high schools and Liberty Middle School, as well as adding another elementary school. Dr. Rikli says the district will soon release a timeline on when they plan to move forward with the projects, 

Papillion - La Vista South will getting a new parking lot, which will significantly decreased walking distance for fans heading to football games.